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New York Will Now Require Social Media Checks For Gun License Applicants

New York lawmakers are tightening their grip on gun control throughout the state by reviewing social media accounts of gun license applicants.

On Friday, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the law, outlining several measures that would provide added layers of security for residents seeking gun permits. Their actions come in response to the Supreme Court ruling that most Americans reserve the right to own guns for personal protection, despite a rash of random shootings.

The new rule will require anyone applying for a handgun license to provide a list of social media accounts they’ve maintained for the past three years. This is meant to verify an applicant’s “essential character, temperament, and judgment” and determine whether or not they can be trusted with a weapon. In the past, many mass shooters, such as Uvalde school shooter Salvador Ramos, outlined their plans on social media.

“Sometimes, they’re telegraphing their intent to cause harm to others,” Gov. Hochul stated at a news conference.

New York’s new set of gun laws also requires four character references, 16 hours of firearms safety courses, and two hours of practice at a range. Background checks will take place periodically to ensure that the gun owner is still within compliance to own the weapon. Applicants must provide the contact information of any adult living in their home. In accordance with the new procedure, the state will no longer issue permits to individuals who have been convicted of drunk driving, threatening behavior, or third-degree assault within the previous five years.

The rules will go into effect on September 1st, though they will surely draw pushback from gun enthusiasts and Republicans.

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