NEW YORK, NY -- Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) expressed her appreciation for today’s signing by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of a bill that closes a long-standing loophole connecting domestic violence and gun violence. This new law is substantively similar to what has long been advocated by Assemblymember Paulin and Senator Diane Savino, including in a New York Daily News Op-Ed published in November.
“I've been working to close the domestic violence loophole on guns for a long time,” said Assemblymember Paulin. “In 2013, nearly one quarter of all homicide victims in New York were in a domestic relationship with their killers. Each month, 50 American women are shot to death by an intimate partner, and nearly a million women alive today have been shot, or shot at, by their partners. I am relieved that we have taken this critical step to take guns out of the hands of abusers and stalkers and to prevent potentially deadly consequences.”
Prior to this bill becoming law, those convicted of domestic violence could not purchase a new firearm, but were not forced to surrender their existing firearms. Under this new law, which the Governor included in his Executive Budget and which passed the Assembly and Senate as part of the FY2018-2019 budget, New York State has added ten serious offenses to the list of crimes that prohibit convicted abusers from having firearms.
Based on conservative estimates, there were 45,000 reported misdemeanor domestic violence crimes in New York State in 2016 alone. Those convicted of domestic violence or stalking will now not only lose their gun licenses, but will be required to surrender their firearms, including rifles and shotguns, in addition to handguns.