ZeroV Encouraged by SCOTUS Ruling in U.S. v. Rahimi

June 21, 2024

We are encouraged by today’s Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Rahimi, which fully upholds the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 that keeps guns out of the hands of abusive partners subject to qualifying domestic violence protective orders. Today, the Supreme Court made it clear that this long-established and effective legal tool against intimate partner homicide is constitutional as well as common sense.  

Lives will be saved as a direct result of today's ruling. We know this because studies show a clear connection between abusive partners with guns and rates of intimate partner homicide. When male abusers have access to a firearm, the risk they will shoot and kill their female partner increases by over 1,000% [1]. Research also shows a clear connection between abusive partners with guns and the killing of people in the broader community. One study found that one in five victims of intimate partner homicide were children, family members, people who intervened, first responders, and strangers and that a gun was used in nearly 70% of these homicides [2].  

Further, there is a documented connection between intimate partner violence (IPV), guns, and mass shootings. In close to half of mass shootings resulting in four or more deaths, the shooter also shot an intimate partner or other family member [3]. By keeping guns out of the hands of abusive partners, we are protecting both victims of IPV and the public at large from devastating and preventable violence.   

Today’s decision also reaffirms the importance of a strong and comprehensive response to IPV at the federal, state, and local levels. Kentucky has one of the highest rates in the nation (48.4%) for women experiencing sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime [4]. We cannot afford to go back to a time when we did not have this legal tool to address IPV in Kentucky. We are grateful that instead of taking a 30-year step back in our legal system’s response to domestic violence, we can refocus on advancing new solutions to the epidemic of IPV that affects us all.   


[1] Spencer, C.M. & Stith, S.M. (2020). Risk Factors for Male Perpetration and Female Victimization of Intimate Partner Homicide: A Meta-Analysis. TRAUMA, VIOLENCE, & ABUSE 2020, 21(3), 536.   

[2] Smith, S.G., Fowler, K.A. & Niolon, P.H. (2014). Intimate Partner Homicide and Corollary Victims in 16 States: National Violent Death Reporting System, 2003–2009. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3), 461–66. 

[3] Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, “Mass Shootings in the United States,” March 2023, 

[4] Smith SG, Khatiwada S, Richardson L, Basile KC, Friar NW, Chen J, Zhang Kudon H, & Leemis RW. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2016/2017 State Report. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2023.