Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced the passage of legislation that would force domestic abusers to surrender all firearms—and not just handguns.
Previously, state laws prohibited the possession of firearms by individuals who had been convicted of a felony or a number of misdemeanor offenses. But changes to the law now include a list of serious misdemeanors—including domestic abuse—that would prevent potential gun buyers from purchasing a firearm.
“The recent wave of mass shootings is horrifying, and the federal government’s failure to act on any form of meaningful gun safety laws is unconscionable,” Cuomo said. “New York is once again leading the way to prevent gun violence, and with this commonsense reform, break the inextricable link between gun violence and domestic violence.”
Under the new state law, individuals who have been convicted of a domestic-violence crime would be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. The law would also establish a process for notifying the FBI of domestic-violence convictions for the purpose of identifying individuals who would be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) said that the law is a step forward in protecting Queens residents, noting that in nine out of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, the shooter had a history of harassing, threatening or abusing women.
“With nearly three women murdered every day by an intimate partner, it is clear that one of the critical steps in preventing these brutal tragedies is making sure abusers don’t have access to guns,” Rozic said. “One needs to look no further than the startling statistics to understand why we needed to take action, and I am proud to have co-sponsored legislation that fills loopholes in the law that have put lives at risk for far too long.”