New Yorkers will be disappointed to learn that their governor knows nothing about Second Amendment rights in his state. Governor Andrew Cuomo took the same approach other Democratic politicians are taking towards ignorant people by proposing additional gun law restrictions. However, in pushing for a new law, Cuomo word-for-word described a law which is already in effect.
On Wednesday, he tried to solve all the gun problems by preventing domestic violence offenders from legally owning guns. He backed up his reasoning by saying how current New York law only prevents these perpetrators from possessing firearms if they received a felony or if it was an otherwise “serious” offense but does not apply to misdemeanors. Cuomo calls this a legal “loophole” that must be closed for the public’s safety.
He further states that such laws only cover handguns, but do not apply to long guns. Cuomo attempts to strengthen what he believes to be a strong argument by offering the statistic that historically most of the mass shooters have also been convicted of domestic violence in the past. There is truth to this correlation, which is why federal law already addresses it.
Today I am announcing legislation to remove all firearms from those who commit any domestic violence crimes.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 13, 2017
In prohibiting domestic violence abusers from owning firearms, the law defines an “offense” as “any Federal criminal offense which is in violation of any Act of Congress,” which applies to both felonies and misdemeanors. Also, any misdemeanor that involves a crime against a “current or former spouse, parent, or guardians,” or any person with whom the abuser cohabited or had a child with is considered domestic violence and warrants revocation of Second Amendment rights under the 1968 Gun Control Act. The law preventing an individual from owning a firearm for such reasons, of course, applies to all types of guns, not just handguns.
The federal law already covers exactly what Cuomo is proposing, yet still, he continues to sing the same gun-grabbing verse. While it is most likely that Cuomo just does not know the law as thoroughly as a politician should, another possibility some Conservatives theorize is that the governor is well aware of the law, but is looking to broaden what is considered “domestic violence” to make it apply to more people. If this passed, some might try to say that incidents such as bar fights are domestic violence, when arguably are not nearly as deadly as actual crimes of passion.
However, Cuomo is obviously pushing gun control and feminist agenda when he says, “This year will be remembered as the year of reckoning when both tragedies of mass shootings and cultural institutional harassment of women became impossible to ignore.” His statement makes it sound like the mass shootings and violence against women headlines are related. However, the mass shootings were nondiscriminatory towards gender, and the violence against women is primarily in the form of sexual assault, not gun violence.
Democrats and Republicans will agree that there were of course too many shootings this year, however, Cuomo is twisting his facts around regarding the assault on women. While there were incidents this year, 2017 was a year when a staggering number of assaults were reported but did not occur. This does not belittle the importance of the problem, however, it is not a new one. Also, there is not much more that can be done to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands without taking away law-abiding citizens’ rights.
While ignorant, none of this is shocking, as Cuomo has always been a gun control activist, but has become more involved recently. In October, he praised New York’s SAFE Act, that he helped pass in 2013, which tightens gun laws in the state. Mentioning the series of laws in response to recent shootings, Cuomo used the opportunity to suggest that Congress does not extend similar laws to all states because they are afraid of the NRA. In reality, Congress probably does not want to try to pass the same law twice.
While Cuomo openly has ties to such gun control efforts, he also has a personal relationship to one of the shootings. His mother-and-law attends the church in Texas where one shooting occurred, so he now has more emotional ammunition against gun rights. His proposition also comes a coincidentally short time after the National Reciprocity bill passed.
Democrats fail to acknowledge that silly gun laws are not going to stop a criminal with malicious intent, yet here we are again. Mass shootings, violence against women, and domestic violence are all heinous crimes and undoubtedly a current safety threat in America. It is, however, concerning when politicians make grand statements about things they know nothing about.
Current federal law does prevent domestic violence abusers from possessing guns, because despite Democrats’ misunderstanding, Republicans, the Constitution, and sensible firearm laws all desire safety for Americans.