Gun control proponents are reeling in the wake of a ruling by a three-judge panel in the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the federal law that disarms people subject to domestic violence restraining orders is unconstitutional.
Reports about the case involving a man named Zackey Rahimi have spread across the media, and even California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statement in which he called the court panel “zealots” who are “hellbent on a deranged vision of guns for all.”
The 24-page decision was authored by federal Judge Cory T. Wilson with Judges James Ho and Edith Jones—all Republican president appointees—concurring. Judge Ho wrote a separate concurring opinion.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said he plans to appeal the ruling.
The Thursday decision recognized that Rahimi has a history of brushes with the law. He had previously pleaded guilty to charges involving shooting incidents, but the ruling vacates the previous conviction.
As reported by Slate, the case dates back to 2020. Rahimi was accused of assault by his ex-girlfriend, and subsequently, a Texas court issued a protective order preventing Rahimi from stalking, harassing or threatening the girlfriend, with whom he had a child. He reportedly agreed to conditions of the order, but when police later went to his home, they found a rifle and handgun, and he was charged for unlawful possession.
That search stemmed from a series of incidents described in the ruling.
“Between December 2020 and January 2021, Rahimi was involved in five shootings in and around Arlington, Texas. On December 1, after selling narcotics to an individual, he fired multiple shots into that individual’s residence. The following day, Rahimi was involved in a car accident. He exited his vehicle, shot at the other driver, and fled the scene. He returned to the scene in a different vehicle and shot at the other driver’s car. On December 22, Rahimi shot at a constable’s vehicle. On January 7, Rahimi fired multiple shots in the air after his friend’s credit card was declined at a Whataburger restaurant.”
In many of the reports, news agencies are suggesting the Supreme Court’s June 2022 Bruen ruling “expanded” Second Amendment rights, which depends upon one’s perspective. In the firearms community, the Bruen ruling—striking down New York State’s century-old gun control law—simply restored the right to keep and bear arms, which state lawmakers in New York, New Jersey, California and elsewhere promptly scrambled to overcome or out-maneuver.