STATEMENT: PA Advocates Support SCOTUS Decision in U.S. v. Rahimi Maintaining Safeguards From Fatal Domestic Violence

Today’s Ruling Will Allow PA to Continue Protecting Abuse Survivors & Reaffirms Efforts to Enact Stronger Gun Safety Laws

June 21, 2024 – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a positive ruling in U.S. v. Rahimi, upholding decades of established law that prohibits individuals with civil domestic violence restraining orders from accessing firearms. It is the most significant gun safety case since the extreme and disruptive 2022 New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, which created a new and confusing constitutional requirement for modern gun laws to be rooted in our nation’s “history and tradition” of firearm regulation. Today’s national decision has significant implications in our Commonwealth, reaffirming Pennsylvania’s Act 79 of 2018 – a historic, bipartisan, life-saving law that disarms domestic abusers. Contrary to a recent SCOTUS decision that endangered Pennsylvanians by overturning the federal bump stock ban, this decision today sends a clear message that the highest court understands the important historical role for the government in protecting vulnerable people from preventable gun violence. 

The following joint statement in response was issued by Adam Garber, CeaseFirePA Education Fund’s Executive Director, and Susan Higginbotham, the PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s CEO:

“Today, the Supreme Court stood with domestic violence survivors, affirming that their government can continue protecting them by preventing abusers from accessing lethal weapons and violent tools of coercion. This is not a theoretical risk. In the last ten years, more than 1,400 Pennsylvanians died in domestic violence-related incidents – the majority by firearm. This is a matter of life and death. And today, the Supreme Court prevented more deaths.


“With this question settled, we will continue to move forward with advocating for stronger gun safety laws across Pennsylvania that can prevent domestic gun violence, like Extreme Risk Protection Orders (House Bill 1018), which passed the PA House with bipartisan support but has languished with zero action in the PA Senate for over a year. We cannot and must not wait one day more for life-saving action in Harrisburg.”


As the Commonwealth’s leading gun violence prevention organization, CeaseFirePA Education Fund organizes communities closest to the issue, holds those in power accountable, and maximizes the strengths of every member in its broad coalition.

Founded in 1976, PCADV is the oldest statewide domestic violence coalition in the nation. Each year, its network of 59 local domestic violence programs provides free and confidential direct services to nearly 90,000 victims and survivors of domestic violence and their children in all 67 counties of the Commonwealth. Together, local programs and the statewide Coalition work in collaboration to deliver a continuum of services, support, and systems to help victims and survivors find safety, obtain justice, and build lives free of abuse.

Facing the truth about gun violence in PA