Carrying a Gun? New York Will Now Monitor Your Facebook & Twitter
The New York legislature's response to the US Supreme Court overturning the state's century old concealed carry ban continues to reflect how polarized the nation is over gun control.
New policy, that takes effect September 1, makes numerous changes to where and who can get a concealed carry permit. While most have no problem with the hours of safety training, prove shooting skill, plus multiple character references and face to face interviews, there are two additional changes that have many concerned about the constitutionality of the law.
The first is the establishment of 15 "sensitive areas" where concealed carry would be forbidden. This includes places like schools, playground, and public transit. The second, which some say violates both the First and Second Amendments, is even more controversial.
When the law takes effect on September 1, local sheriff's staff, judges, and county clerks will be responsible for monitoring the social media accounts of any concealed carry applicant. These checks would involve scanning for potentially dangerous "character and conduct."
Gun control advocates praise the checks, intended to catch the warning signs of a shooting before it occurs. Governor Hochul and lawmakers have cited disturbing content posted on social media by mass shooters like the Uvalde gunman as a reason to monitor usage on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Those wanting a concealed carry permit will have to list their current and former social media accounts from the past three years. Law enforcement has not been allocated extra budget or staff by the state for this process, which adds an extra strain, and some wonder if private accounts will have to be made visible to officials.
Some groups have already announced their intent to combat the law, on the grounds of free speech and privacy.