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Cuomo Proposes Closing Gun Loophole In Domestic Violence Laws

Marco Ugarte

Governor Cuomo’s getting a head start on his State of the State proposals, and says he’ll propose a bill to close a loophole that allows some convicted of domestic violence to possess guns.

New York law already allows a judge to confiscate firearms from anyone convicted of felony or other serious offenses. Cuomo would amend the law to apply also to those who commit misdemeanors, which include crimes like assault and battery and strangulation. And it would extend the law to so-called long guns like rifles, which are currently exempt from the law

“What it says, is if you are convicted of a domestic violence offense you have to surrender your guns,” Cuomo said. “Because a woman who’s been a victim of domestic violence shouldn’t have to be in a household or threatened by a person who has a gun.”

The governor says the change would apply to men who are abused, as well.  

Right now judges are given discretion on whether to confiscate guns when an order of protection is issued against a person. Cuomo would make that mandatory.

The sponsor of the bill in the Senate, Diane Savino, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, praised the proposal, but Republicans who control the chamber did not respond to a request for comment.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.