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Tucson community leaders respond to SCOTUS decision on gun bans for domestic abusers

Supreme Court to decide if gun bans are constitutional
Judge Million
Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 17, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Supreme Court is to decide the constitutionality of gun bans in relation to domestic violence court orders. The question rises from a court case from last year, in which it was decided that gun laws must be comparable to those from the 1700's.

The high court heard arguments on Tuesday, Nov. 7, but the decision is still far from being final. Still, leaders with extensive experience with domestic violence in Tucson are afraid of the impacts.

Tucson Magistrate for the Domestic Violence Court Wendy Million just received a grant in partnership with local organizations to strengthen the response to cases involving guns. The federal grant is for one of many Technical Assistance Assistance Projects by the Department of Justice. She said if the gun bans are not constitutional, this could gut the entire project.

“We have a lot of people who want to be part of this that are just members of the community, so to me, that really shows that this is an issue that all of Tucson wants to address," said Million. “We’re not banning guns for everyone who has a domestic violence case. We’re looking at high-risk cases, we’re trying to be reasonable about it.”

Currently, Million said her prosecutors have 400-600 high risk cases each. The risk in domestic violence cases many times extends beyond the court room, and the Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse has the largest reach in Tucson for survivor support.

CEO Ed Sakwa said if gun bans were no longer applicable to the high-risk situations, there wouldn't be as many survivors to help.

“There’s a 500% increase in the risk of being killed if your partner has a gun. And if that person has proven that there’s a risk in that relationship, to allow them to then have a firearm, means that people are going to die,” said Sakwa.

Both Sakwa and Million said the risk for domestic violence increases during the holidays. Anyone in need of resources can reach Emerge at


Reyna Preciado is a reporter for KGUN 9, she joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University. Share your story ideas with Reyna by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, or Twitter.