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Supreme Court Upholds Federal Ban on Domestic Abusers Possessing Guns
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Supreme Court Upholds Federal Ban on Domestic Abusers Possessing Guns

Thumbnail image for domestic violence.jpgOn June 27, 2016 the Supreme Court entered a ruling in Voisine v. United States. The Justices ruled six-two to uphold the federal law prohibiting those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from possessing a firearm. 

The petitioners in this lawsuit argued there is a distinction between "recklessly" and "knowingly or intentionally" committing domestic assaults. Justice Elena Kagan addressed in the Supreme Court's majority opinion that reckless conduct requires the conscious disregard of a known risk and involves a deliberate decision to endanger another. Reckless acts are not the same as accidental acts. Similar domestic abuse laws that trigger the federal ban already exist in 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as "any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or another family or household member." According to the Florida State Police, there were 170 domestic violence related murders in Florida in 2013. More than half of the domestic violence homicides committed in Florida between 2006 and 2012 were committed with a gun.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. It can affect anyone. If you are a victim of domestic violence or reasonably believe you are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an act of domestic violence, you can petition the court for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. A petition for a domestic violence injunction is immediately reviewed by a judge to determine whether or not to enter a temporary injunction. These temporary injunctions last only a limited number of days to allow for the other party to be served and a hearing to be heard on the petition. The trial judge may then enter a final injunction. Some final injunctions are permanent, without an expiration date, while others make reference to an expiration date.

These types of cases are serious and can significantly impact the lives of everyone involved. If you are seeking a domestic violence injunction or defending against one, it is important to have competent representation to protect you.

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