Senator Saland’s Legislation to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Violence Offenders Is Signed by the Governor

Stephen M. Saland

August 2, 2011

New law will bar people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing firearms

Senator Steve Saland (R, I, C - Poughkeepsie) today announced that Governor Cuomo has signed his legislation to protect victims of domestic violence by ensuring that pertinent information regarding certain violent misdemeanor crimes is considered, as required by federal law, when determining whether a person is qualified to purchase a firearm (S.4244C). 

 “Keeping firearms out of the hands of individuals convicted of certain violent misdemeanors is critically important to the citizens of this state.  In Dutchess County alone, there have been four recent instances of deaths due to domestic violence in the past year.  These tragic events highlight the volatility of domestic violence cases and require action to ensure that an already dangerous situation is not compounded by allowing individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors access to legal firearms,” said Senator Saland.

 Senator Saland’s bill includes provisions to close the potential gap in the reporting of crimes by our state to the federal government and ensures that individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors are barred from purchasing firearms. 

Currently, a firearm may not be sold to a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Firearm eligibility is determined by conducting a background check, which includes a check of automated criminal databases.  The passing of this new law will ensure that New York State properly reports certain domestic violence convictions to federal authorities.

 “Once enacted, domestic violence offenders will not escape federal law and be able to walk out of the door of the court house and purchase a firearm,” stated Senator Saland.  “This legislation closes the loopholes by changing the way the data is submitted and tracked, and ultimately will keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders who are prohibited by law from purchasing a firearm.”