Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Gun purchasers may need to submit social media history under proposed New York legislation

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Those looking to buy a gun in New York may need to submit their social media profiles and search history prior to purchase if new firearm legislation in the state becomes law.

Under the legislation drafted by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and State Senator Kevin Parker, both Democrats, up to three years’ worth of search history on social media would be able to be reviewed, ABC Action News reported.

Senate Bill 9191, according to WHAM, mandates “social media and search engine reviews prior to the approval of an application or renewal of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver; requires a person applying for a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver or a renewal of such license to consent to having his or her social media accounts and search engine history reviewed and investigated for certain posts and/or searches over a period of 1-3 years prior to the approval of such application or renewal; defines terms.”

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Under the proposed legislation, law enforcement officials could investigate “commonly known profane slurs used or biased language used to describe race, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation; threatening health or safety of another person, or an act of terrorism.”

“There should be more restrictions on how guns are purchased. We should have more background checks,” Paul McQuillen, director of the Buffalo chapter of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, said. “We’ve obviously seen some of the mass shooters have a social media history that should have sent red flags,” he said.

The bill could be troublesome to push through as critics argue it violates multiple constitutional rights.


The legislation is currently in committee and no vote is scheduled.

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