New York lawmakers are expected to approve a long-stalled measure allowing cops to remove guns from a home following a report of domestic violence.
The new law was included in a portion of the state budget winding its way through the Legislature on Wednesday.
“Domestic violence incidents are emotionally charged and highly volatile,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D-Queens), who sponsored the bill before it was included in the spending package. “Having a gun in the household amplifies the risk of a domestic violence incident turning deadly.”
The measure, known as the “Safe Homes and Families Act,” allows a police officer to confiscate a weapon found during a search if they are responding to a domestic violence incident. The guns would be held for at least 48 hours and their return would depend upon whether any court orders or orders of protection are filed or if the owner is arrested.
Eighteen other states have similar laws on the books.
Under the previous law, the state did not require law enforcement officers to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident, even if an arrest was made.
While the NYPD has an internal policy on the matter, lawmakers said it was unclear whether cops were required to remove a gun based on whether there was an arrest made or the officer’s own judgment of whether the incident involved physical force.
The department policy was also unclear on whether firearms or licenses held by the victim should also be removed.
“Separating alleged offenders from guns safeguards women, families, communities, and law enforcement officers alike,” Rozic said.
A separate measure proposed by Gov. Cuomo that would ban New Yorkers from owning guns if they have committed a serious misdemeanor in another state was also expected to pass as part of the budget.
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