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New York passes bill to remove guns from domestic abusers

The governor of New York has passed a law to remove guns from domestic abusers.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the legislation on Saturday. He says it closes a loophole in a previous state law and makes it a requirement for domestic abusers to surrender all firearms, not just handguns.

According to Cuomo, firearms were used in 35 domestic homicides in New York throughout 2016.

“It makes no sense to have a person arraigned on domestic violence and then let them go home with their guns when you know there is tension and violence in the home,” the governor said during an interview with CNN.

Before the legislation passed, New York prohibited firearm possession for people convicted of a felony or for a limited number of “serious” misdemeanor offenses. But according to the governor’s office, “this excluded many misdemeanor offenses which nobody could deny are in fact serious.”

The new law bolsters the list of serious crimes. If someone is convicted, they lose their gun license and surrender all firearms.

“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,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “This legislation builds on our gun laws — already the strongest in the nation– to make New York safer and stronger.”

The law also ensures that people wanted for a felony or serious offense are unable to get a new firearm license or renew an existing one. Until now, individuals could legally receive a firearm license even if they were being sought by police.