Courthouse Steps Decision: United States v. Rahimi

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United States v. Rahimi raised the question of whether 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), which prohibits the possession of firearms by persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders, violates the Second Amendment on its face.

Zackey Rahimi was found in possession of a rifle and pistol while subject to a domestic violence restraining order after the alleged assault of his former girlfriend, a protective order that specifically barred him from possessing a firearm. He was indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) (a federal statute that makes it illegal for those who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders to possess a firearm).

Rahimi challenged that indictment, arguing the law is facially unconstitutional and violates the Second Amendment. Initially, both the federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the law, but, following the Supreme Court's decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen, the Fifth Circuit reversed and vacated Rahimi's conviction. The decision was appealed and the Court heard oral argument in the case on November 7, 2023.

On June 21, 2024, the Court issued its decision, reversing the Fifth Circuit in an 8-1 decision.

Join us for a Courthouse Steps Decision program, where we will analyze this decision and its possible ramifications.


  • Mark W. Smith, Senior Fellow, Ave Maria School of Law, and Host of the Four Boxes Diner Second Amendment Channel


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.