NEW YORK, NY (WBZ-AM)--A bill being drafted in the New York legislature requires a three year check of social media postings and one year background of internet search history, for anyone looking to buy a gun.
Two New York Democrat lawmakers are proposing the new bill which would examine the weapon applicant's accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Federally licensed dealers would do the social media and internet background check , as part of the regular investigation process in order to identify any patterns of violent hate speech threats of imminent violence. A similar tactic is already being used by the NYPD to combat growing gang related crime.
Supporters of the idea claim social media and internet reviews would target hate speech which could be a key factor in identifying people who should not be allowed to buy guns. Critics say the bill violates Constitutional rights to free speech and the right to bear arms based upon social media posts. They argue the proposed law treats all gun buyers as suspected criminals who may only enjoy their guaranteed rights by engaging in government-approved speech.