Let week, in the United States, a bill was passed in the state of New York prohibiting the purchase and ownership of all kinds of firearms by individuals who have been convicted of domestic abuse.
The governor of New York, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, said that “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.”
Governor Cuomo also said that the new bill is meant to make the state stronger and safer, with state gun laws already among the strictest in the whole nation.
The bill went through both houses without a problem. The state assembly voted 85-32, and the state senate 41-19, in favor of the bill, which was part of Governor Cuomo’s 2018 Women’s Agenda, and which he had fought for.
Under the new bill, convicted domestic abusers are now required to give up all the firearms they own. Previously, they had only been required to give up handguns. Domestic abusers who had even convicted of a felony or serious offense are already disallowed from owning guns, and this new bill has added certain battery and assault charges to that list of offenses.
The bill is certainly relevant and timely, since the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has said that having a firearm in a household where domestic violence is also present raises the risk of homicide by 500 percent. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited in a 2017 report that in more than half of all female homicides, a gun had been used.
It is important to note that the FBI has said that in the US, a woman is fatally shot by a partner, whether former or current, every 16 hours.
Governor Cuomo also criticized the Trump administration, saying, “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.”
New York’s bill forbidding domestic abusers from possessing firearms could actually be part of the solution to end mass shootings in the US. The National Public Radio reposted last year that between 2009 and 2016, more than half of mass shootings, wherein at least four people were killed, occur within a situation involving domestic violence.