The high court has agreed to hear the case of Zackey Rahimi, a Texas man and alleged drug dealer whose violent past may send him to prison for a long time.
At the same time he is facing several serious state charges, including aggravated assault with a firearm, the defendant is challenging a 2022 federal conviction. After police officers found two handguns in his home, when he was prohibited from owning a gun, Rahimi was sentenced to six years in federal prison for violating a federal law that prohibits Americans from possessing a firearm while they are the subject of a restraining order.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the federal charge but he is now arguing he is innocent after a SCOTUS ruling struck down New York’s stringent gun law last year.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court in Louisiana sided with Rahimi and threw out his conviction.
Luis Valdez, a national spokesman for Gun Owners of America, tells AFN the gun rights group is not defending Rahimi’s criminal record but says GOA sees a “good case” that protects every person's rights.
“The individual himself is no way a good plaintiff,” Valdez observes, “but that doesn't mean that Second Amendment rights don't apply to the plaintiff himself.”
Rahimi’s arrest records and charges describe a hot-headed thug who allegedly shot at other drivers on the road more than once, according to a story by the liberal Huffington Post. He allegedly shot in air outside a Whataburger when a credit card got declined.
Rahimi deserves to sit in a jail cell for his other crimes if he is guilty, Valdez says, but a ruling from the Supreme Court might clarify the Second Amendment rights of Americans not convicted of a crime.
From a more practical standpoint, Valdez says the charges against Rahimi demonstrate a reality that gun-bannning advocates keep ignoring.
“He has continually found ways to get around gun laws and acquire firearms for the purpose of shooting at people and threatening others,” Valdez says. “He's a perfect example of why gun laws do nothing to stop bad guys and criminal behavior."