New York passes law to strip domestic abusers of firearms

People convicted of domestic abuse in New York will be required to hand over their firearms to authorities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday after state lawmakers passed legislation to update a law that required domestic abusers to surrender only their handguns.

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Cuomo said the legislation will make New York “safer and stronger.”

“New York is once again leading the way to prevent gun violence, and with this common sense reform, break the inextricable link between gun violence and domestic violence,” Cuomo said.

The legislation updates a law enacted after the 2012 shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 students and six adults dead, according to The Hill. The law required convicted felons and those convicted of a limited number of "serious" misdemeanor offenses to surrender their firearms to authorities.

The legislation passed last week expands on the list of “serious” misdemeanor offenses and contains measures to bar people wanted on felony or other serious charges from obtaining firearm licenses.

"Legitimate gun owners can still own a gun," Cuomo told CNN.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a healthcare union rally at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, February 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Credit: Drew Angerer

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Credit: Drew Angerer

According to officials with the governor’s office, a person’s chance of being killed by an abusive partner increases five-fold when the partner has access to firearms.

"Half of the women who are murdered in this country are murdered by an intimate partner," Cuomo told CNN, citing a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He faulted the federal government Saturday for its failure to enact legislation to ensure gun safety.

“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,” he said.

The new legislation passed in the state Assembly by a vote of 85-32 and by 41-19 in the Senate last week, according to The Hill.