NY lawmaker: Scour social media before issuing gun licenses

Nov 25, 2018

A state lawmaker is proposing a change to New York's gun laws to allow authorities to search social media for potential red flags before approving a handgun license.

State Senator Kevin Parker

State Senator Kevin Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, has introduced a bill that would require applicants to provide investigators with their Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram passwords. It would also give investigators access to the applicant's Google, Yahoo and Bing searches.

Parker wants investigators to look at the last three years of an applicant's social media postings and a year of their search histories for "any good cause for the denial of a license," such as racial slurs, threats of violence and terrorism-related posts.

The bill, submitted on Nov. 14, appeared to come in response to recent mass shootings whose suspects had posted threats or ranted about potential targets.

The State Legislature session begins in January, but no vote on this bill has been scheduled.