New Yorkers hoping to carry concealed handguns will soon have to share their social media accounts as part of a more stringent application process under a new state law.
Starting in September, concealed carry applicants will have to go through several new steps, including an in-person interview with a licensing officer “to determine character and trustworthiness to handle a firearm,” according to a statement from Democratic Senator Anna Kaplan, who co-sponsored the legislation.
Applicants will also have to give authorities at least four character references and provide a list of current and former social media accounts going back three years.
Supporters say the idea is to catch potential warning signs that are often posted on social media by those who commit mass shootings, including the accused gunman in the May 14 attack in Buffalo that left 10 people dead.
Exactly what constitutes those warning signs will be left up to local sheriff's offices, judges, and county clerks.
In addition to handing over their social accounts, applicants will also have to complete 16 hours of firearms safety training, two hours of practice at a range, and periodic background checks.
They must also provide contact information for their spouse, domestic partner, or any other adults living in their home.
The legislation, passed by both chambers with wide margins and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul Friday, July 1, was a direct response to a US Supreme Court ruling that overturned a New York law dating back 109 years.
That law required people to prove that they faced an “unusual threat” to their safety in order to qualify for a license to carry a handgun outside of their homes.
"For a century, New York had common-sense laws on the books that protected residents from the threat of gun violence by regulating who can have a gun, and where they may carry it,” Kaplan said.
“Last week, an activist Supreme Court packed with ultra-conservative Justices upended a century of legal precedent, and put the safety of every New Yorker at risk. Today, we put the pieces back together and fixed what the Supreme Court destroyed, because we refuse to let our communities fall victim to the unnecessary pain and suffering that gun violence inflicts."
Besides the tougher permitting process for concealed carry applicants, the new law also designates several so-called sensitive locations where concealed carry is banned.
The prohibited areas include places like hospitals and behavioral health centers, along with schools, colleges, theaters, stadiums, and Manhattan’s Times Square.
The legislation also requires that all guns be safely stored inside a home if someone under the age of 18 lives there....click here to read more.