Lawmakers propose including social media in gun background check

Posted: Updated:

Some state lawmakers are proposing a bill that would require social media vetting before a gun license could be issued.

The bill, introduced by Brooklyn state Sen. Kevin Parker, would require gun license applicants to share their passwords for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat with authorities for review.

Authorities would be permitted to look at the last three years of New Yorkers’ social media accounts and search history before they could be approved for a license.

Profane slurs used to describe race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, and threats or acts of terrorism, are some of the things authorities say would disqualify an applicant.

But opponents say the move would be an attack on privacy and first amendment rights.

"There's six months of background checks on you,” says Ben Rosenshine, CEO of Blueline Tactical Supply & Shooting Sports. “People that go through the trouble of taking a safety class, getting references, going through the entire application process are not doing this with the intent of committing a crime."

State Sen. Shelley Mayer, of the 37th District, is in favor of the bill and says that all too often authorities find alarming posts on people's social media after a tragedy occurs -- and by that point, it's too late.

The surveillance process that would be performed has not been announced yet. Mayer says that would be worked out in the state Legislature.

No vote has been scheduled yet.

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