SFY 2020-21 Budget Includes Common Sense Gun Measures

Speaker Carl Heastie today announced the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020-21 Budget will build on the Assembly’s previously enacted common sense gun legislation and offer greater protection to New Yorkers from gun violence.

“The Assembly Majority knows New Yorkers need more than thoughts and prayers to protect them from the scourge of gun violence – they need common sense gun laws,” said Speaker Heastie. “That is why we fought to ensure this budget includes measures that would help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”

“Separating alleged offenders from firearms is an important step in safeguarding family members and responding law enforcement officers,” said Assemblymember Nily Rozic. “I am pleased to see that with the enactment of this budget, New Yorkers will finally have these critical and common sense protections.”

The enacted budget includes the Safe Homes and Families Act. Under the act, an officer responding to a report of domestic violence would be allowed to temporarily take custody of a firearm or long gun that is in the possession of an alleged perpetrator, discovered in plain sight or found as the result of a lawful search. An officer who takes custody of a weapon would also be authorized to take temporary custody of any license to carry or possess such a weapon issued to the individual.

Under this law, the officer will be required to give the owner or person in possession of the weapons or license a receipt describing the weapon and/or license and indicating any identification or serial number on such weapon. The receipt will indicate where the weapon and/or license can be recovered and describe the process for recovery.

If after 48 hours a court has not issued an order of protection, an extreme risk protection order, or other court order prohibiting the owner from possessing such a weapon and/or license, and there is no pending charge or criminal conviction which prohibits such owner from possessing such a weapon or license, and upon a written finding that there is no legal impediment to the owners possession of such a weapon and/or license, the gun would be returned.

The approved spending plan would also expand the definition of a “serious offense” to include out of state crimes that are equivalent to New York crimes when determining whether a person is qualified to receive a gun license or possess a gun in New York.

These measures build on a comprehensive package of legislation signed into law last year to prevent gun violence in New York that included the Red Flag Law, legislation to ensure more comprehensive background checks for gun licenses and purchases, a bill that would prohibit schools from arming teachers, and measures to get illegal guns and modified guns off the street.