While the nation as a whole cannot come to an agreement on how to handle gun laws, states have been stepping up and providing laws for their citizens, and New York just passed one of their own. The new bill, which was just recently passed by the New York State Legislature, will make it so that those who have been convicted on domestic abuse charges will no longer have the right to purchase or own any type of firearms.
The state gave themselves a big pat on the back calling the new law a “common sense bill” and claiming that their state is heading the pack on the road to prevention of gun violence across the nation. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) stated that this is just another building block on New York’s gun laws, laws he referred to as the strongest in the entire nation, and stated that this was a step to make the state even stronger. Cuomo advocated for this bill at his 2018 Women’s Agenda, and it passed through both the State Assembly and Senate with little opposition. This legislation will require that all people who have been convicted of domestic abuse must surrender all of their firearms as well as bans them from purchasing new guns. This closes a loophole that was left in previous legislature that only required them to surrender handguns, but allowed them to maintain ownership of other firearms. Likewise, the previous bill stated that domestic abusers convicted on felony charges or other serious offenses were not allowed to purchase guns, the new bill adds some new assault and battery charges to the list of offenses that bar their right to purchase guns.
While the new bill hopes to lessen the amount of gun crimes that occur in the state of New York, the legislators also believe that it can aid in lessening the chances of mass shootings as it has been proven that the majority of mass shootings that have occurred in the past often involved some history of domestic abuse. Per a report from NPR in 2017, roughly 54% of mass shootings that occurred between 2009 and 2016 were committed by someone who had a history of domestic violence. Likewise, a gun being present in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by about 500%, and there is astounding data from the FBI that shows that every 16 hours in the United States, a woman is fatally shot by either her current or former intimate partner.
This new law is one that is likely to make a difference. Cuomo stated it was a common sense law, and those words seem like a very accurate description. While the national government bickers on the topic and accomplishes nothing, states like New York are slowly stepping up and making changes that are sure to alter the future. For more information, click here.