Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ban on Guns for Batterers Upheld

In a follow-up to this post, a federal appeals court upheld a ban on gun possession for a domestic violence offender in a ruling that several anti-violence advocates applauded Wednesday for providing some clarity after the U.S. Supreme Court's recent landmark decision on gun restrictions.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 10-1 on Tuesday to reinstate a southern Wisconsin man's conviction for having a gun while on probation for a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. The decision followed the high court's ruling last month that made Chicago's outright handgun ban unenforceable. The court held that Americans have the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live.

The Wisconsin case was being closely watched by advocates of gun rights and domestic abuse victims, particularly in light of the Supreme Court's ruling. While the court signaled some gun restrictions may survive legal challenges, it offered assurances only on laws that bar felons from having guns.

"Even with the new definition of the Second Amendment, it (Tuesday's ruling) shows that you can still have reasonable gun restrictions," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said of the appellate ruling. "This case really reaffirms that you can have limits."
We are grateful to the Appeals Court for making what we see as a sound ruling protecting the safety of women across the country.

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