WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Gun violence prevention advocates rallied in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday as the justices heard a case that has the potential to upend a major gun control policy. The case challenges a federal law that bars people under domestic violence restraining orders from having guns.
Among those advocates was Donna Berdych. She was there in memory of her late daughter, who she says was shot and killed by her abuser.
“I don’t want any family to experience what we have experienced,” Berdych said.
Tuesday’s case revolves around a Texas man convicted of gun charges because of a restraining order issued after he hit and threatened his girlfriend. His lawyer, J. Matthew Right, argues that violates his Second Amendment rights.
“Very consequential actions that go against an individual’s fundamental right to keep arms,” Right said.
This case was sparked by the Supreme Court’s ruling last year expanding gun rights by saying firearm restrictions need to fit with the nation’s historical tradition.
During Tuesday’s arguments, even some conservative justices expressed skepticism about this gun control challenge.
“The legislature can make judgments to disarm people consistently with the Second Amendment based on dangerousness,” Justice Amy Coney Barrett said.
The advocates who spent their day outside of the court hope the court listens to their pleas. School shooting survivor Camille Paradis said lives are at stake.
“The Supreme Court could open the doors for more victims, more violence, more bloodshed, which is terrifying,” Paradis said.
Executive Director of Moms Demand Action Angela Ferrell-Zabala said abuse victims already face a frightening reality.
“Any time an abuser has a firearm that woman is 5 times more likely to be shot and killed,” Ferrell-Zabala said.
She argued if the high court lets abusers have firearms, it will only heighten that threat.
“This is a death sentence for women and families across this country,” Ferrell-Zabala said.
A ruling in the case is expected by early summer.