New York Mandates Social Media Checks Of ‘Character And Conduct’ In Gun Permit Applications

Last Updated on July 6, 2022

A bill that recently passed in New York state requires social media checks to be a part of the handgun license application process.

Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul signed the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” into law on Friday, following a Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a previous state mandate which had forced New Yorkers to show “proper cause” when applying for concealment carry licenses.

The fresh legislation requires applicants to show “essential character, temperament and judgement necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself and others.”

All applicants must present the handles of any social media accounts they operated over the past three years.

In addition to the social media requirement, applicants need to provide four character references, undergo 16 hours of firearm safety training, two hours of range practice, face periodic background checks, and present contact information of any adults living in their residence.

New Yorkers must renew their licenses after three years as well.

Under this new law, concealed weapons are barred from being carried in locations across the state, including Times Square, subways, buses, bars, government buildings, churches, schools, libraries, playgrounds, parks, and homeless shelters.

The only way individuals can conceal carry in a private establishment is if businesses explicitly state that they are allowed.

Gov. Hochul praised the legislation in a written statement, where she also bashed the Supreme Court decision which struck down the state’s previous mandate:

A week ago, the Supreme Court issued a reckless decision removing century-old limitations on who is allowed to carry concealed weapons in our state — senselessly sending us backward and putting the safety of our residents in jeopardy. Today, we are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers. After a close review of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision and extensive discussions with constitutional and policy experts, advocates, and legislative partners, I am proud to sign this landmark legislative package that will strengthen our gun laws and bolster restrictions on concealed carry weapons.

Republicans and Second Amendment supporters expressed outrage over the bill. Republican State Senator Andrew Lanza called the bill a “disgrace” and suggested the measure will face legal challenges.

“Now we’re going to let the pizzeria owner decide whether or not I can express my constitutional right. This is a disgrace. See you in the courts,” Lanza said.

Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell echoed Lanza’s calls for legal pushback. “These [Second Amendment] rights are fundamental and Democratic states are trying to impede upon them. All these laws will be challenged in court and they’ll be knocked out,” Terrell said on Fox News.

LEO TERRELL on New York requiring social media check for buying guns: “These rights are fundamental and Democratic states are trying to impede upon them. All these laws will be challenged in court and they’ll be knocked out.” pic.twitter.com/jeSSV6PNWr

— Martin Golobič (@mgolobich) July 3, 2022

Stay tuned to National File for any updates.

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