New York, NY – People applying for a pistol permit or renewing a license could have their social media accounts and internet search history reviewed according to a proposed bill in the New York state senate.
State Senator Kevin Parker, a Democrat, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams drafted the legislation, according to WHAM.
The bill requires that there be social media and search engine reviews before there can be approval of an application or renewal of a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver.
Social media reviews would go back three years and search engine reviews would go back a year.
WHAM reported that people would have to give up their log-ins and passwords to social media accounts.
The proposed bill would give state and local police ability to investigate for “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,” according to WHAM.
“Most times, when you have these shooting incidents, there are breadcrumbs in social media plainly visible things. What can be done about that?” said State Assemblywoman-elect Jamie Romeo, according to WHAM. “While I respect his proposal, there’s a lot of enforcement problems with that, I think.”
Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode said mental health history and domestic violence is better at predicting gun violence.
“We chase down these social media threats,” VanBrederode said, according to WHAM. “And very few are ever legitimate, because it’s easy to sit behind a keyboard and say something bad or do like that. I would even agree that this has become a violation of your privacy rights.”
New Yorkers interviewed by WHAM had mixed reaction to the proposed bill.
“I think it would help,” said Sarah Stade, according to WHAM. “You never know what people on the Internet are searching. You can have person that’s a normal everyday person to someone else, and you go into their search history or their home and it’s totally different.”
Others were opposed.
“I’ve always thought anything that’s pass code worthy is yours; it’s private,” said Glenn Moses, according to WHAM. “To have any rights to get your passwords and go through your accounts and maintain your accounts, that’s just horrible.”