NY Gun Owners May Need to Divulge Social Media Passwords

A proposed bill in the New York State Senate could mean that anyone wanting to buy a gun or renew their gun permit will be subject to a review of their internet history and social media accounts.

Bill S9191 was drafted by State Senator Kevin Parker from New York’s 21st Congressional District and “requires a person applying for a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver or a renewal of such license to consent to having his or her social media accounts and search engine history reviewed and investigated for certain posts and/or searches over a period of 1-3 years prior to the approval of such application or renewal.”

If the bill passes, investigators would be able to look for posts or searches that contain threats to the health or safety of others; intentions to carry out an act of terrorism; or commonly known profane slurs or biased language describing the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, the bill says.

Applicants would have to give over their passwords and logins to social media platforms such as Facebook Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.

The bill is currently in committee and will have to clear several steps before it can become law, including being passed by the State Senate and Assembly.

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