Indianz.Com > News > StrongHearts Native Helpline: Women denied right to safety with court decision
5th Circuit Court of Appeals
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Right To Safety Denied
Tuesday, February 14, 2023

EAGAN, Minnesota — On February 2, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in their ruling of “United States v. Rahimi” declared that the ban on access to firearms as it relates to domestic violence is unconstitutional because the statute 922(g)(8) (1994) restriction of the Second Amendment right [does not] fit within our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. Further, that unless and until a crime has been committed and convicted — said perpetrator is a law abiding citizen.

There are many reasons that survivors of domestic violence do not report their victimizations to law enforcement. Two of the most common are fears that the criminal justice system will fail them, as it too often does, and fear of reprisals from the partner who has harmed them. Both fears are real.

“This action has removed one of the few tools that survivors have to protect themselves and their children. It is hard to reconcile the courts’ reliance on antiquated laws and their perceived intent with the statistics on femicide,” said CEO Lori Jump, StrongHearts Native Helpline.

“By ignoring data and factual evidence, the courts subject survivors and children to gun laws that refuse to protect them,” said Jump, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Studies by experts across the nation and the world have proven that domestic violence and femicide are intricately linked. For example:

  • Abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their female victims.
  • Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner.
  • 92 percent of all women killed with guns in high-income countries in an average year were from the United States.

“Decades worth of legislation designed to protect women are being overturned by judges appointed by conservative politicians with an agenda that does not align with the vast majority of Americans,” concluded Jump. “The right to safety is being denied to one class of citizens – women. Our fight for women’s rights especially as they pertain to domestic and sexual violence will continue.”

5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Decision: United States v. Rahimi (February 2, 2023)
Indianz.Com Audio: Oral Arguments – USA v. Rahimi – August 30, 2022

StrongHearts Native Helpline is a culturally-appropriate, anonymous and confidential service that provides support and advocacy to Native American and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic and sexual violence. Call or Text 1-844-762-8483; or to chat online visit our website: