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Domestic violence and gun rights in Texas

In 2009, police took a man into custody on suspicion of killing a bald eagle. Upon being taken into custody, he surrendered his rifle to authorities who then discovered that he shouldn't have had the gun in the first place. This was because he had been previously convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. Per the Lautenberg Amendment, anyone caught with a gun after being convicted of such a crime could face up to 10 years in prison.

That individual and another man have taken their cases to the Supreme Court, and their attorneys argue that they never violated the law. According to legal counsel for the men, they should have never lost their right to own a gun in the first place. The core argument is that there should be different degrees of domestic violence with only intentional acts resulting in a loss of gun rights.

However, research indicates that victims of domestic abuse are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun. Each year, more than 700 Americans are killed by their partners, and at least 80 percent of those victims are women. The Lautenberg Amendment was put into place to ensure that people convicted of domestic violence could not get a gun regardless of the severity or circumstances surrounding their actions.

People who are being abused by a partner either physically or emotionally may wish to talk to an attorney. Legal counsel may be helpful in obtaining emergency restraining orders against abusers. Victims of domestic violence may also be entitled to have their partner removed from a shared residence even if the abuser is the owner of the property. In some cases, an abuser may lose parental rights and be ordered to pay spousal or child support to the victim.

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