State Closes Loophole That Allowed Mentally Ill To Obtain Firearm License

Peretz Partensky / CC BY-SA 2.0

ALBANY – New York State’s Governor signed legislation Tuesday closing a loophole that he said could have allowed a dangerously mentally ill person to obtain a firearm license.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said law enforcement agencies now have greater access to records of those seeking a firearm license in NY.

“While Washington stands idly by and allows a gun violence epidemic to tear our nation apart at the seams, causing more and more families to grieve and children to grow up without their parents, New York is leading the way and enacting smart, common sense gun safety laws to help prevent these needless tragedies,” Cuomo said. “These measures continue to build on our nation-leading gun laws by helping keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and providing law enforcement with the tools and knowledge they need to keep our communities safe from situations that may involve a deadly firearm.”

The previous system did not prevent mentally ill people who have not been involuntarily committed from applying for a firearm license in the state. It also allowed those who reside in New York but still have a permanent address in another state to attempt to purchase a license.

National Instant Criminal Background Check System only flags people who have been involuntarily committed.

The Governor’s office says that this legislation closes that loophole.


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