A proposed Illinois bill would require gun buyers to provide their social media accounts for officials to inspect before they are issued a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.
Democratic State Rep. Daniel Didech of Buffalo Grove said that his inspiration for the proposal came from aberrant social media postings by gunmen in high-profile mass shootings, WBBM-TV reported.
“A lot of people who are having mental health issues will often post on their social media pages that they’re about to hurt themselves or others,” Didech said. “We need to give those people the help they need.”
The bill, HB0888, “(a)mends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall conduct a search of the purchasers’ social media accounts available to the public to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Provides that each applicant for a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police a list of every social media account,” according to the online summary of the legislation.
The bill is currently pending in committee.
ILLINOIS: more gun grabbing and add thought control.
HOUSE BILL 888, sponsored by Representative Daniel Didech (D-59), would require Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) applicants to provide a list of their so… https://t.co/tMHRHroGCE
— Greg (@JAJAjoe) January 26, 2019
“It gives Illinois State Police additional tools to make sure that dangerous weapons aren’t getting into the hands of dangerous people,” Didech said.
Didech and the bill are facing opposition by both pro-gun and First Amendment groups.
“When people look at this everyone who has a Facebook account or email account or Twitter account will be incensed or should be,” said Richard Pearson with the Illinois State Rifle Association.
Rebecca Glenberg of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says the bill “doesn’t say anything about how that list will be retained and for how long and what uses it might be put to.”
“A person’s political beliefs, a person’s religious beliefs, things that should not play a part in whether someone gets a FOID card,” she added.
Without a clear public safety need, this proposal opens the door for police to deny a FOID card based on the speech of an applicant.
— ACLU of Illinois (@ACLUofIL) February 7, 2019
New York state Sen. Kevin Parker has proposed a more far-reaching law for his state that would force anyone seeking a handgun to let officials comb through three years’ worth of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram posts, according to The Associated Press. The law would also require that a year’s worth of Google, Yahoo and Bing searches be checked.
“We certainly want to make sure we’re putting weapons in the hands of the right people and keeping them out of the hands of the wrong people,” said Parker, a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn.
Tom King, president of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said if the bill passes, it is the start of “the slippery slope of taking away your First Amendment.”
Although New York has acted to pass gun control legislation, Parker’s proposal has not yet been adopted.
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