New York to Require Social Media Check for Gun Applicants
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled New York's concealed carry laws were unconstitutional, the state is attempting to pass a number of laws to maintain a level of gun control in the state, including a new law that would require concealed carry gun applicants to submit their social media accounts for inspection.
According to a report by Marina Villeneuve and Maysoon Khan of the Associated Press, one of the laws signed last week by Governor Kathy Hochul would require an applicant's social media profiles to be handed over for inspection for a review of their character and conduct. Law enforcement agencies, courts, and county clerks would be required to check all current and former social media accounts for the previous three years before approving an application.
Governor Hochul noted that many mass shooters post their intentions to harm others on social media before actually doing so. In the case of the Payton Gendron, a Conklin, NY teen, a lengthy manifesto was posted to his social media before he traveled to Buffalo to commit the racially motivated mass shooting. Gendron also streamed the shooting on Twitch, a popular social media platform commonly used for live broadcasts.
This law, which will go into effect in September, is similar to another gun control law signed by Governor Hochul recently, banning concealed carry guns from "sensitive targets" like schools and hospitals and from any business that does not post signage explicitly welcoming concealed carry guns. Previously, New Yorkers could only get a permit for a concealed carry weapon if they could demonstrate that they were in unusual danger.
In the report, Villeneuve and Khan noted that some experts believe this may be a violation of free speech protections, and how exactly the law will be enforced is not yet clear.