NOW-NYS Urges NYS Senate to Pass Legislation-Helping Victims of Violence
NOW-NYS Urges Governor Cuomo to Sign Legislation into Law
Senate 1003A/Assembly 2494B
June 16, 2011
For more information contact: Marcia Pappas, 518-452-3944
The National Organization for Women-New York State supports legislation that would require a judge in a criminal proceeding or in a family court proceeding, upon issuance of an order of protection, to inquire as to the ownership of a firearm by the defendant or respondent. Currently, legislation has been sponsored by Senator Jose Peralta and Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell. It has passed the NYS Assembly. We urge the NYS Senate to pass this legislation. We further urge Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation into law.
According to information on the NYS Assembly website, "Current law provides for the mandatory and permissive revocation or suspension of firearms licenses and ineligibility for such licenses upon issuance of temporary orders of protection or orders of protection. However, those statutes do not require the court to actually inquire as to the existence and location of any firearms owned or possessed by the defendant or respondent. Currently, some judges do make such an inquiry, while others do not. This bill will help ensure that judges have information they need to make the decisions already required by existing statutes by mandating that this inquiry be made on issuance of orders of protection or upon willful failure to obey previous orders. Thus, courts will have, as a matter of record, disclosure by defendants or respondents regarding the existence and location of any and all firearms owned or possessed by a defendant or respondent in these matters."
The National Organization for Women-NYS President Marcia Pappas states, "Although it is important for judges to issue orders of protection for victims of violence, the order of protection is meaningless when the perpetrator of the violence possesses a firearm. When the perpetrator is determined to continue the abuse, he will resort to greater efforts to control his victim, often resorting to actions that can be lethal. It is time for judges to make sure that perpetrators do not have the power to further harm the victim."