Seemingly in direct response to the recent Second Amendment rebuke handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, the heavily liberal legislators in New York are trying to push through a bill that would use the screening of the social media accounts of all handgun permit applicants as a determining factor.
Lawmakers out in Albany approved a full overhaul of the licensing regulations for the state, taking steps to add a requirement that the applicants give up all of their social media accounts going back three years in order to judge their “character and conduct.” The move seems to be happening directly after the high court stated that New York state had been illegally and unconstitutionally limiting people’s right to carry handguns.
“New Yorkers’ constitutional freedoms were just trampled on,” stated Nick Langworthy, the state Republican Chair, after both Democrat-majority chambers sent the measure to Governor Kathy Hochul (D-NY), who had her signature on it before it settled on her desk.
New York State New Gun Laws Include, People applying for a gun license will have to turn over a list of their social media accounts for officials to verify their “character & conduct”https://t.co/saFvPvnNQk
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) July 2, 2022
A whole swarm of critics has been claiming that the new requirements are against not just the Second Amendment, but also toe the line of running afoul of the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech. This new law will almost certainly spawn a bevy of legal challenges that could end up with New York’s gun restrictions right back into SCOTUS’ hands.
Just last month, the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling that the restrictions in New York regarding gun permits were a direct violation of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. This recent ruling, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen has been labeled as the widest expansion of gun rights in well over a decade, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
This recent case centered on a New York state law from 1911 that made the right to a concealed carry permit hinge on demonstrating “good moral character” and “proper cause.” As released via the majority opinion, Just Clarence Thomas stated that the people of New York could not be forced to show why they must demonstrate a need to exercise a Constitutional right.
“We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need,” explained Thomas.
The new gun law is slated to go into effect on the first of September. Democrat legislators seem to think that by sifting through three years worth of social media posts for their applicants they will be able to try and weed out any potentially dangerous people and stop them from acquiring handguns.
“Sometimes, they’re telegraphing their intent to cause harm to others,” claimed Hochul at the resulting news conference.
This bill also does not specify if these prospective gun owners will be made to give licensing officers access to any private social media accounts.
Any applicant trying to get concealed-carry permits will also be made to give four character references, undergo a 16-hour firearms safety training course with two hours of range shooting, undergo background checks periodically for the entire time they hold the permit, and to hand over all contact info for their spouse, domestic partner, or any other adult living in their house, reported the Associated Press.