Proposed N.Y. Law Would Require Gun License Applicants to Submit to Social Media Checks

By Emily Ward | December 11, 2018 | 10:27am EST

( -- New York State Senator Kevin Parker, a Democrat, is proposing a law that would require police to check the social media posts and search engine history of handgun license applicants, and potentially deny their applications based on posts with “biased language.”

Sen. Parker introduced the bill on Nov. 14. It stipulates that anyone who wants to secure or renew a license to own a pistol or revolver must “consent to have his or her social media accounts and search engine history reviewed and investigated.”

The law would allow police to obtain applicants’ usernames and passwords for their personal social media accounts. For each applicant, police would be obliged to sift through three years of social media history and a year of search engine history.

New York State Senator Kevin Parker (D).  (YouTube)

Police would be able to investigate any posts or searches related to threats, terrorism, slurs or “biased language” describing a person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.

The proposal states, rather vaguely, that police would also be able to examine posts or searches regarding “any other issue deemed necessary.” 

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Parker “noted that mass killers often provide warning signs through their social media posts, as in the case of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect, who ranted online that Jews were ‘children of Satan.’”

The proposal states that social media accounts checked by investigators would include Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, and search engines would include Google, Yahoo and Bing.

(Getty Images)

When asked each of these companies whether it supported this proposed legislation, none of them answered the question.

The Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

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