Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/45
Title: “BEAT YOUR WIFE, AND LOSE YOUR GUN”: DEFENDING LOUISIANA’S ATTEMPTS TO DISARM DOMESTIC ABUSERS
Authors: Murphree, Patrick D.
Keywords: Louisiana gun right reform
domestic abuse
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Citation: 61 Loy. L. Rev. 753
Abstract: On the evening of September 5, 2009, Donna Carter was relaxing with her family in Holden, Louisiana, perhaps comforted by the protective order she had obtained against her estranged husband, Dennis. At 10:40 p.m., Dennis barged into the house with a gun, ready to carry out the threats he had been making for years. He shot Donna and his son before heading upstairs to where his pregnant-daughter-in-law Amber and her two-year-old son, Mason, had hidden. When he burst into the bedroom, Amber leapt from a second-story window with her son in her arms. As she struggled through the window, she was hit eight times; Dennis then followed her downstairs and shot her again as she attempted to flee. Four bullets struck Mason as his mother fled; she could do nothing but cradle him as he died. Unfortunately, the Carters’ tale is not unique in Louisiana. Only three other states have a higher rate of women killed by men. Eighty percent of these women were murdered by a husband, partner, or ex-partner. As many as seventy-four percent of these deaths came from gunshots. Partly in response to these statistics, the 2014 Louisiana legislature enacted two new firearms regulations. One bans possession of firearms by those convicted of domestic abuse battery, while the other imposes a firearms disability on persons subject to a protective order. By disarming those who pose the greatest threat to victims’ safety, these laws provide vital protections to victims of domestic violence. However, the Louisiana Constitution requires courts to apply strict scrutiny to any restrictions on the right to bear arms. This Comment outlines a method by which the Louisiana Supreme Court can apply strict scrutiny, but still uphold these important laws against facial and as-applied challenges. Part I outlines the scope of the epidemic of domestic violence nationally and in Louisiana, stressing the connection between the availability of firearms and domestic violence homicides. Part II examines federal and Louisiana bans on firearm possession by domestic violence misdemeanants and persons subject to a protective order. Part III explores the legal challenges that Louisiana’s laws will face in light of the state constitutional provision that mandates strict scrutiny for any restrictions on the right to bear arms. Specifically, this Comment argues that the laws should survive both facial and as-applied challenges because they are narrowly tailored to serve the compelling state interest of preventing domestic abuse from escalating to murder. Finally, the Comment briefly addresses effective implementation of the new laws so that they will protect the lives of domestic violence victims.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/45
ISSN: 0192-9720
Appears in Collections:Law Review

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