NY Lawmaker Wants Social Media Checks For Gun Ownership
If you live in New York, it is difficult to legally own a handgun. Now, a State Senator named Kevin Parker, a Democrat representing Brooklyn wants to make it harder for people to own guns by requiring a social media check. The new proposed social media check could require New Yorkers who want handgun licenses to pass search engine and social media checks which could include handing your log-in information and passwords to the police.
The new bill proposes scrutinizing all social media platforms from Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and Twitter. The people investigating the social media accounts could review an applicants' search history on Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine.
No comedian will ever get a gun permit in New York if this passes. You elected @NYGovCuomo.
The legislation says, "the New York state police shall, after obtaining the licensee’s consent … and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account … review a licensee’s social media accounts for the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year."
The Democrat Parker claims the law is to figure out whether anything on the applicants' social media or search engine results would give "good cause for the revocation of a license". Grounds for refusal of the handgun application could include infractions as simple as showing "gender bias".
The bill instructs police to watch for posts that reference profane slurs, any biased language related to race, color, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. Sheldon Boyce of Brenna Boyce PPLLC, a private law firm, said, "Are we going to deny permits because a person goes to church or goes to a mosque?" Boyce says the new legislation would specifically violate the United States Constitution.
"In the case of Heller vs District of Columbia in 2008, the US Supreme Court held that the possession of a handgun in the home is a fundamental constitutional right so anything that infringes upon that right is subject to challenge," Boyce said in an interview with WROC. He added that "the judge who grants or denies a permit has fairly broad discretion under New York State law."
Paul McQuillen, director of the Buffalo chapter of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, wants more restrictions on gun ownership which will only hinder law-abiding citizens. "There should be more restrictions on how guns are purchased. We should have more background checks," McQuillen told WKBW.
To back up his weak attack on the constitution McQuillen offered, "We’ve obviously seen some of the mass shooters have a social media history that should have sent red flags." None of those mass shooters were even from or near New York so why would that even be a factor in deciding New York law?
Legal handgun owners in New York already have to re-certify and pay a fee to the government every five years just to own a handgun. Applications are already required to submit their criminal history, mental health history and offer character references. The obvious rules apply as well such as the age 21 requirement and no felony convictions.