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Domestic Abusers Must Surrender All Firearms Under New State Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing the new legislation.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing the new legislation. Video Credit: NYGovCuomo

New legislation signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking firearms out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers, “closing a loophole in state law.”

Cuomo announced the signing on Wednesday afternoon, which will ensure that domestic abusers are required to surrender all firearms, not just handguns.

The governor also announced his intention to advance additional legislation to extend the waiting period for individuals who are not immediately approved to purchase a firearm through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System from three days to 10 days.

Previously, New York law narrowly prohibited the possession of firearms for individuals either convicted of a felony or a limited number of misdemeanor "serious" offenses, excluding many misdemeanor offenses that are undeniably serious, Cuomo noted.

The new bill “expands the list of "serious" crimes that require the loss of a gun license and the surrender of all firearms to ensure no domestic abuser in New York retains the ability to possess a firearm once convicted of a disturbing crime.”

Additionally, the new law will preclude any individual wanted for a felony or other serious offense from obtaining or renewing a firearm license.

"In a time when gun violence continues to relentlessly torment communities across the country while our federal government refuses to act, New York must lead the charge to end this epidemic once and for all," Cuomo said in a statement announcing the new law. "With this legislation, we can sever the undeniable connection between domestic abuse and deadly gun violence, and continue to build upon the strongest gun laws in the nation.”

"My mother dedicated her life to helping victims of domestic violence and our family started a home to help these survivors," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul added. "We've seen firsthand the fear created when a gun is present in the home of an abuser. This new law today is a dramatic step forward eliminating the vulnerability of these women and their children. While the federal government fails to address the issue of gun violence, we continue to fight to keep guns out of the hands of those who could devastate our communities and our residents."

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