NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6137
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To ensure that convicted domestic violence abusers are entered into the
FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System and thus
prevented from accessing firearms in the future.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends the Penal Code by adding a new section 240.78 to estab-
lish the crime of domestic violence.
Section 2 sets forth the effective date.
Domestic violence and gun violence are closely linked with tragic conse-
quences. According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, 600
women are murdered with a firearm each year in the United States by an
intimate partner. In more than 5096 of mass shootings where four or more
people were killed, an intimate partner of the shooter was also killed,
according to Everytown for Gun Safety. Both federal and state laws
recognize the risk individuals convicted of domestic violence pose to
their partners and families, and sometimes to others, by barring those
individuals from possessing or purchasing a firearm. Unfortunately, due
to inconsistencies in federal and New York State law, individuals
convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges are not always
entered in the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System
This legislation will bring New York into line with federal standards
for inclusion in NICs. Under current statute, individuals who are
charged with domestic violence do not necessarily meet the federal
criteria for disqualification from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
In order to be included in the NICs system in cases of domestic
violence, an individual has to have been convicted of any felony or a
misdemeanor that involves 1) the use or attempted use of force or
threatened use of a weapon, and,2) was committed by a current or former
spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, a person who shares a child
in common, a person who is or has cohabitated with the victim as a
spouse, parent, or guardian or as person similarly situated to a spouse,
parent or guardian. New York does not currently have a statute that
meets both of these conditions in misdemeanor domestic violence cases.
New York State law uses a different process, different relationship
categories, and has a more expansive list of qualifying offenses to
determine who is ineligible for purchasing or possessing a firearm in
New York State. As a result, an individual who is barred from purchasing
or possessing a firearm in New York State might be able to purchase or
possess one if they move to a different state.
This legislation creates a new misdemeanor charge that meets both crite-
ria for inclusion in NICs. In practice, it will have no impact on penal-
ties for domestic violence, but will ensure that the FBI can clearly
understand which individuals should be entered in the database based on
the facts of the case. By clearly establishing that individuals
convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges qualify for inclusion
in NICs, New York will reduce the potential for perpetrators of domestic
violence to slip through the cracks and not get entered into the federal
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
April 3, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. LAVINE -- read once and referred to the Committee
AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 240.80 to
2 read as follows:
3 § 240.80 Domestic violence.
4 1. A person is guilty of domestic violence when he or she commits a
5 specified misdemeanor defined in subdivision three of this section and
6 where there was a specified relationship between the defendant and the
7 person against whom the offense was committed as defined in subdivision
8 two of this section.
9 2. A "specified relationship" is one where (a) the defendant is a
10 current or former spouse, parent or guardian of the victim; (b) the
11 defendant is a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (c)
12 the defendant is a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated
13 with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian; or (d) the defendant is
14 a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the
16 3. A "specified misdemeanor" is an offense defined in section 120.00
17 (assault in the third degree); section 120.14 (menacing in the second
18 degree); section 121.11 (criminal obstruction of breathing or blood
19 circulation); section 130.52 (forcible touching); or section 240.30
20 (aggravated harassment in the second degree) of this part.
21 Domestic violence is a class A misdemeanor.
22 § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
23 have become a law.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.