Cuomo proposes to block out-of-state offenders from accessing guns

New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo added to his gun-safety portfolio in Wednesday’s State of the State address, proposing legislation to prohibit New York gun licenses for anyone convicted of serious offenses in another state. 

The state currently rejects gun license applications from those convicted in New York of a class of misdemeanors pegged as “serious offenses.” Qualifying offenses include unlicensed firearm possession, forcible touching, and other misdemeanor domestic violence violations and sex offenses. Cuomo would extend the qualifying criteria to include similar crimes committed elsewhere. 

Watch: Cuomo delivers 202 State of State address

Potential new legislation on Cuomo’s agenda establishes a separate statutory directive authorizing licensing entities to identify comparable misdemeanors when they receive pistol permit applications. Disqualifying offenses would affect both new applications and renewals. Each new firearm purchase would also trigger a national instant background check—a federal NICS—which locates relevant criminal history and provides another level of security. 

According to Cuomo, amending penal law would significantly increase public safety by keeping lethal weapons away from dangerous people, combating gun violence, and saving lives. Preventing those with a serious criminal past in another state from owning firearms builds on 2013’s SAFE Act and 2019’s Red Flag Law.

These pieces of legislation aim to deny guns to those identified by mental health professionals or the courts as a danger to themselves or others, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other serious offenders. 

Such legislation had several effects. They prevented school districts from arming teachers, toughened criminal penalties for illegal gun use, subjected private sales to background checks, and extended the background check waiting period. They also banned undetectable guns, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and assault weapons.

Finally, they codified and expanded safe storage practices, established regulations for buybacks, and created procedures allowing family members, educators, and law enforcement to seek temporary orders to disarm violent or dangerous individuals and confiscate their weapons. 

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