A New York gun control law passed Friday will empower the state to comb through the social media of citizens and potentially deny them the right to carry a gun.
The law requires concealed carry license applicants to list any social media accounts they’ve used in the last three years in their application.
The bill outlines the means for the state to assess the “character and conduct” of the applicant.
The law leaves potentially disqualifying social media content vague.
The provision opens up the possibility of political bias in New York’s concealed-carry licensing program.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, had called the Democrat-controlled Legislature back to Albany to work on the law after last week’s Supreme Court ruling, which overturned the state’s longstanding licensing restrictions, according to the Associated Press.
Senate Bill S51001 sped through the State Senate and Assembly in days.
Hochul signed the bill into law on Friday night, codifying a bill that fundamentally revises the state’s gun permitting system with little time for review or criticism.
The new law says applicants have to demonstrate “the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself and others,” according to the bill’s text.
Second Amendment advocates are pointing to the social media shakedown as a clever way for the state to turn down concealed carry applicants.
Andrew Dorr of the New York State Firearms Association is calling the law “the kind of bill that the Gestapo would be proud of,” according to a report by The Guardian.
He’s predicting the law will be struck down in the courts in what would be the second defeat of New York gun-control laws this year.
A Supreme Court ruling struck down New York’s infamous ‘may issue’ handgun licensing last week, putting an end to a system that allowed government officials to deny gun licenses to citizens arbitrarily.
According to the high court’s ruling, New York is now legally required to issue licenses to applicants who can legally own and purchase guns. But Friday’s approval of the new state law brings back more restrictions.
“They didn’t just go up to the line. They trampled on the Supreme Court decision,” said Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, speaking to the New York Post on the state’s legislative response to the ruling.
Concealed carry licensees are barred from bringing their weapons into nearly any place of public accommodation. Under the law, it’s a felony to bring a gun into a restaurant unless the owner has posted signage indicating they’re authorized.
The law foists a range of other requirements on concealed carry licensees.
Applicants will have to supply four character references for a license. They’ll also have to submit to regular background checks after getting one and receive 18 hours of classroom and range gun training.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.