Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s Bill to Confiscate Firearms from Those Convicted of Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Crimes Passed by the Assembly

Scarsdale – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is pleased to announce that A.5257, legislation she authored, was passed unanimously by the New York State Assembly on Tuesday.

The bill requires individuals to surrender any firearms, including rifles, shotguns, black powder rifles or muzzle-loading firearms, he or she owns when he or she is convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.

“The law right now has a big hole,” Paulin said. “When a person is convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, he or she cannot buy or possess a firearm under federal law. But if he already owns a gun and he’s convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, there’s nothing in the law that says he has to give up his guns. That makes no sense at all.”

Current law provides that when a person is convicted of a felony or serious offense or an order of protection is issued for victims of family offenses, the court must revoke that person’s firearms license and all firearms possessed by the person must be immediately surrendered. Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence are not included.

“We need to close this loophole so we can better protect those who are most in danger of being hurt, victims of domestic violence,” Paulin said. “The risk of leaving a weapon in the hands of an abuser is simply too great.”

Based on statewide poll results released today, 78% of New York voters and 67% of gun owners in New York support the surrender of guns by those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Intimate partner homicide is the most frequent type of domestic homicide. In 2013, nearly one-quarter of the victims in all homicides in the state had a domestic relationship with their offenders.