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New York law requires gun owners with domestic-violence misdemeanors to surrender their firearms

Domestic Violence Gun Confiscation

Federal law already prohibits those with a criminal record from obtaining firearms, but a newly passed law in New York aims to expand that to include people who had had domestic violence convictions. The new bill, which New York lawmakers have just recently approved along with the state’s new budget, will automatically disqualify those with domestic violence records. Additionally, the state will also be able to take away the firearms of current gun owners with past records.

The new law, which was promoted by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, covers all cases that involve victims being members of the family or of the same household. This includes convictions such as assault, criminal contempt, aggravated harassment, unlawful imprisonment, and other cases including misdemeanor domestic violence convictions. Those that are found to have these records are required to surrender all of the firearms in their possession. Gun owners will have the right to a hearing to challenge their particular case, but firearms will have to be confiscated before the hearings are held.


Bill passed allowing confiscation of firearms for people with domestic-violence misdemeanors.
(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Governor Cuomo previously championed the new law following the slew of mass shootings in the country. According to the politician, the majority of the shooters involved in the tragic incidents has had past records of domestic violence, including records of violence against women and harassment. It was also revealed that firearms are prominently used in a lot of domestic homicide cases in New York.


Understandably, a number of gun owners are having problems with the newly implemented law, specifically because authorities are already allowed to confiscate firearms from people involved in domestic violence incidents at their own discretion. This power was granted through the Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban amendment of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, often called “The Lautenberg Amendment” after Frank Lautenberg.

However, it has to be noted that the current system in place to bar people involved in domestic violence from acquiring firearms has had some issues. More often than not, the problem solely lies in the gaps in how states and other departments report the cases. Some cases are not being reported properly, which eventually leads to it not being included in a person’s background check.

 

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