RELEASE: Giffords Applauds Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for Prioritizing Proposal to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers and Funding Life-Saving Violence Intervention Programs

April 10, 2018 — Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, applauded New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for passing a proposal to ensure domestic violence abusers do not have access to firearms and renewing the funding for violence intervention programs in the New York State Budget.

The domestic violence legislation would prohibit gun possession for individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence and would require the immediate removal of firearms from that individual. It would also require the removal of firearms from an individual subject to a domestic violence protective order. The deadly nexus of domestic violence and firearms is well established: in nine of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in United States history, including the recent shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, the shooter had an existing record of committing violence against women, threatening violence against women, or harassing or disparaging women.

This budget continues several years’ of robust funding for two important programs to address interpersonal gun violence. Operation SNUG implements the Cure Violence model of street outreach in some of the state’s most impacted communities, while the GIVE Initiative provides funding for local law enforcement agencies to improve police/community relationships and implement evidence-based strategies for reducing gun-related violence, including the Group Violence Intervention model. In continuing to support these programs, New York remains a national leader when it comes to investments in violence intervention programs. At present, only a handful of states are making this critical investment, as discussed in Giffords Law Center’s recent report, Investing in Intervention: The Critical Role of State-Level Support in Breaking the Cycle of Urban Gun Violence.  

Mike McLively, Senior Staff Attorney and Urban Gun Violence Initiative Director:  

“Gun violence disproportionately impacts underserved communities of color. New York continues to be a national leader as one of the only states in the country to invest directly in evidence-based programs to address interpersonal gun violence. This helps explain why New York saw a 24% decline in the gun homicide rate for black residents from 2010 to 2015, while such rates were increasing nationally. We also know that firearms are often used to threaten and harm victims of domestic violence, and the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely the woman will die. Removing firearms from domestic abusers will save lives. More states need to follow the example set by the State of New York.”

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Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.