Here is a copy of the Amicus brief that the Crime Prevention Research Center has submitted in the case of United States v. Rahimi is available here.
If people who are subject to a civil restraining order are dangerous, prohibiting them from possessing firearms could save lives. We have estimated the enhancement effect of federal law 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) using a panel of fifty states over 38 years. The results are remarkably robust. We find that 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) has no statistically significant beneficial impact on domestic murder, domestic femicide, domestic gun murder, or domestic gun femicide. Additional penalties for illegally obtaining a gun or violating a protective order are unlikely to provide marginal deterrence. In the past, some courts have traded off protection of rights versus prevention of crime. The debate in the past has focused on violent versus non-violent felons. Presumably, on average, individuals going through a civil process are less likely to engage in crime with a firearm than those convicted of a felony. Even when hearings occur, the lower standard of proof in civil matters means a higher probability of false positives and thus may inadvertently disarm innocent people. The statute not only fails to withstand Constitutional analysis, it fails to accomplish its policy goal. Therefore, we urge this Court to affirm the decision below.BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE by the CRIME PREVENTION RESEARCH CENTER in United States v. ZACKEY RAHIMI, October 4, 2023.