New York State lawmakers block firearms from domestic abusers

Lawmakers in New York State just announced groundbreaking legislation to ban firearms from domestic abusers.

Riding an anti-gun-violence wave strengthened by last month’s nationwide March for Our Lives, lawmakers in New York State just announced groundbreaking legislation to ban firearms from domestic abusers.

The law’s passage by the state legislature updates a standing law that banned domestic abusers from owning handguns.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced over the weekend in a press release that the move closes a loophole in state law and serves as another step toward insurance that abusers cannot get their hands on firearms.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

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New bill tightens a loophole

Under the new legislation, domestic abusers are forced to turn in any firearms that they were not barred from owning. A previous law passed after the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn., at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children and six teachers dead, barred domestic abusers from owning pistols and revolvers. Now, the law includes rifles, shotguns and any other firearms not included in the 2012 law, The Hill reported.

Previous New York state law barred firearms from people who were convicted of a felony or limited number of misdemeanor offenses, according to the governor’s statement. This law, however, excluded many offenses that some might deem serious, the statement explained.

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Cuomo facing election challenge

Cuomo, a Democrat, is in the early stages of a primary campaign challenge by actress Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame.

The national gun violence debate was elevated by the Valentine’s Day shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead and 17 hurt. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.