Indiana Legal Services Applauds Supreme Court Ruling in USA vs Rahimi

Date: June 21, 2024




Sydney Mike-Mayer, Policy & Communications Coordinator

(972) 249-8402


Megan Stuart, Director of Advocacy

(812) 961-6902


Indiana Legal Services Applauds Supreme Court Ruling in USA vs Rahimi

Indianapolis, Indiana June 21, 2024 – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a ruling in the case of USA vs Rahimi, upholding the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which prohibits individuals subject to domestic-violence restraining orders from possessing firearms. This case originated in Texas, highlighting the state’s pivotal role in shaping national policy on domestic violence.

We commend the Court for its decision, which prioritizes the safety and protection of domestic violence survivors across the nation. This ruling reaffirms the critical importance of firearm restrictions for individuals who pose a significant threat to their intimate partners. Protective orders are a vital tool in safeguarding victims of domestic violence, and the prohibition on firearm possession by abusers under these orders is an essential component of these protections because:

  • Two-thirds of women killed by an intimate partner are killed with a gun.1
  • Access to a gun makes it 5x more likely that a woman will die at the hands of a domestic abuser.2
  • Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner.3

In 2023, Indiana Legal Services joined Texas Advocacy Project and a coalition* of dedicated non-profit organizations across the nation in filing an amicus brief  advocating for the safety and protection of domestic violence survivors through appropriate firearm regulations. The brief, submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, addressed the Fifth Circuit’s ruling and emphasized the importance of preventing individuals who have committed or threatened family violence from accessing firearms during the period they are under a protective order.

“Domestic violence is a public safety and health concern. Today’s opinion ensures that trial courts have a vital tool to help ensure the safety of domestic violence survivors, their families, and their communities. Our daily work is dedicated to protecting our clients and we are proud to have been a part of the group of organizations that gave a voice to our clients and our communities,” said Rakuya Trice Indiana Legal Services’ Deputy Director & Director of Medical- Legal Partnerships.

“This decision is a victory for the common-sense principle that a person who is a danger to others can be temporarily barred by a court from possessing deadly weapons. We are glad that our clients—particularly women who have experienced domestic violence and their families—will maintain the right to ask courts to help keep them safe from violence from dangerous domestic abusers. The decision is an important reminder that we must keep working to ensure that the law prevents gun violence, rather than enable it,” said William McCarthy, Indiana Legal Services’ Domestic Violence Resource Attorney.

“We are immensely grateful for the Supreme Court’s recognition of the inherent dangers faced by domestic violence survivors,” said Heather Bellino, Chief Executive Officer of Texas Advocacy Project. “In Texas, where the intersection of domestic violence and firearm access is a pressing issue, this decision is crucial. It ensures that those who have been deemed a threat cannot possess firearms, thereby reducing the risk of further harm or fatality.”

The intersection of domestic violence and firearm access is well-documented, with numerous studies4 showing a significant increase in the likelihood of homicide when abusers have access to guns. Today’s ruling is a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to protect survivors and prevent domestic violence-related fatalities.

About Indiana Legal Services, Inc: Indiana Legal Services, Inc. (ILS) is a not-for-profit law firm and the largest provider of free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income people in Indiana. ILS helps clients in all 92 counties who are faced with legal problems that harm their ability to obtain basic needs such as food, shelter, income, medical care, or personal safety. ILS also handles cases in other areas including family law where there is domestic violence, housing, consumer law, access to health care, and access to government benefits. ILS does not handle any criminal matters. Our mission is “to use the law to fight poverty and racism, empower clients, and improve access to justice.” Learn more at For legal help, go to

About Texas Advocacy Project: Since its beginning in 1982 as a legal hotline, Texas Advocacy Project (TAP) has evolved into an expert on legal and social issues affecting survivors of power-based abuse. TAP strives to end dating and domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, stalking, and human trafficking in Texas. TAP empowers survivors through free legal and social services and access to the justice system, and advances prevention through public outreach and education. Our vision is that all Texans live free from abuse. In 2023, TAP provided legal and social services in 4,989 cases, serving 11,047 Texans. If you or someone you know needs help, call 800-374-HOPE or visit

*The Coalition is comprised of the following dedicated nonprofits across the country: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc., Bay Area Legal Aid, Central California Legal Services, Community Legal Aid SoCal, Eastside Legal Assistance Program, Georgia Legal Services Program, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Indiana Health Advocacy Coalition, Indiana Legal Services, Inc., Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Legal Aid of Arkansas, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Los Angeles Center of Law and Justice, Maryland Legal Aid, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, OneJustice, SAFE Alliance, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation, Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc., Texas Advocacy Project, Texas Legal Services Center, University of Texas School of Law Domestic Violence Clinic, Virginia Poverty Law Center.