Prospective New York gun buyers could be required to undergo a review of their internet search history and social media activity by providing necessary passwords under newly-drafted legislation, according to reports.
The bill, written by Brooklyn borough President Eric Adams and state Senator Kevin Parker, would empower officials and judges to review up to three years of internet activity of those applying for, or renewing, pistol permits in New York.
“Posts from the past three years on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat would be reviewed for language containing slurs, racial/gender bias, threats and terrorism,” reports Rochester First. “One year of search history on Google/Yahoo/Bing would also be reviewed.”
Some are raising concerns about the bill, and the subjective nature with which it could be enforced.
“The judge who grants or denies a permit has fairly broad digression under New York State law. And it has to have a rational basis. So they can’t say they don’t like your gender or your race,” attorney Sheldon Boyce told WIVB. “For example, religious practice — are we going to deny permits because a person goes to church or goes to a mosque?”
“In the case of Heller vs District of Columbia in 2008, the US Supreme Court held that the possession of a handgun in the home is a fundamental constitutional right so anything that infringes upon that right is subject to challenge.”
WIVB reports that the only social media accounts expressly listed in the bill are Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst