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Urban Resource Institute’s Statement on Supreme Court Hearing Case to Determine Whether DV Abusers Can Have Easy Access to Guns

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments in the United States v. Rahimi case, regarding the federal government’s ability to prohibit people who are subject to domestic violence orders of protection from possessing a firearm. As the nation’s largest provider of domestic violence shelter services, Urban Resource Institute (URI) joined the amicus brief filed by the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) urging SCOTUS to uphold the federal law that protects survivors of gender-based violence and their families against gun violence.Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner and nearly 1 million women alive today have reported being shot or shot at by intimate partners.

Research shows that access to a gun makes it five times more likely that a woman will die at the hands of a domestic abuser.

In 2021, a firearm was used in 37.5% of all domestic violence homicides in New York City alone. This represents an 80% increase from 2017, when guns were used in 19% of domestic violence fatalities.   When upholding the rights of a few means endangering the lives of many, we have a moral obligation and legal duty to protect the vulnerable against almost certain harm.  

 Team URI works to provide the survivors in our care with access to safe, stable and healing environments. While we are committed to the belief that all people are capable of change – including people who have caused harm – we stand firm in our belief that access to guns makes survivors – and our staff – significantly less safe.  Today, and every day, URI affirms the fundamental freedoms upon which our nation was founded and believes that our nation is stronger when our notion of freedom includes freedom from danger.  We join thousands of survivors, victims’ services organizations, advocates, and policy makers in imploring SCOTUS to uphold the federal law that enables survivors and their families to heal in safety without the fear that their abuser could more easily access a deadly firearm. To get involved or learn more, contact govaffairs@urinyc.org.