Zackey Rahimi, the Texas criminal defendant challenging a federal gun law before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, said this summer that he no longer wanted to own firearms and expressed remorse for his actions that got him in trouble with the law.
“I will make sure for sure this time that when I finish my time being incarcerated to stay the faithful, righteous person I am this day, to stay away from all drugs at all times, do probation & parole rightfully, to go to school & have a great career, have a great manufacturing engineering job, to never break any law again, to stay away from the wrong circle, to stay away from all firearms & weapons, & to never be away from my family again,” Rahimi, who is being held at a Fort Worth jail, said in a handwritten letter dated July 25.
He continued: “I had firearms for the right reason in our place to be able to protect my family at all times especially for what we’ve went through in the past but I’ll make sure to do whatever it takes to be able to do everything the right pathway & to be able to come home fast as I can to take care of my family at all times.”
Rahimi, who is challenging his conviction under a federal law that bars individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing a firearm, is being held at the jail under separate charges stemming from a series of gun-related incidents.
In the letter, addressed to a state judge and district attorney, Rahimi said he has become “a new person” since being incarcerated several years ago and asked for a plea deal that would include a lighter sentence.
“I would like to say I apologize for all the trouble I’ve put all of you through and for all my actions,” he wrote.
Supporters of gun rights have said that Rahimi, who has a history of violent behavior, is not the ideal person to be at the front of this Second Amendment case. Still, the dispute represents a fresh opportunity for the majority-conservative court to take another look at the Second Amendment following a landmark decision last year that expanded gun rights nationwide.
Rahimi, a drug dealer, was issued a restraining order in 2020 after a violent altercation with his girlfriend in Arlington, Texas. A court found that he had “committed family violence” and that it was likely to occur again.
Beginning in December 2020, Rahimi took part in five shootings in Texas that culminated on January 7, 2021, when he fired shots in the air at a Whataburger restaurant.
When the police ultimately obtained a search warrant for his home, they found a rifle and a pistol, and Rahimi admitted that he was subject to the protective order that had been entered in the civil proceeding.
A federal grand jury indicted him, and Rahimi moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that the law was unconstitutional. He lost his court effort, but then the Supreme Court issued the landmark Second Amendment decision.
After reviewing the decision, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Rahimi. The Supreme Court will now hear the government’s appeal Tuesday.
CNN’s Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.
For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at CNN.com