There is a bill in the New York State Assembly, S. 9191, which would require:
- A review of one’s social media and search engine prior to the approval of an application or renewal of a gun license.
- The consent of anyone applying for a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver or a renewal of such license to have his/her social media accounts and search engine history reviewed and investigated for certain posts and/or searches over a period of 1-3 years prior to the approval of such application or renewal.
- The state government investigator will look for slurs or “biased language” about race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation; threats against another’s health or safety; “acts of terrorism”; and the all-purpose “any other issue deemed necessary” by the investigator.
- All of this intrusion into one’s privacy and, therefore, violations of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, is justified in order “to show the good character, competency and integrity of each person or individual signing the [gun license] application.”
In order to ascertain whether any social media account or search engine history of an applicant presents any good cause for the denial of a license, the investigating officer shall, after obtaining the applicant’s consent pursuant to subdivision three of this section, and obtaining any log-in name, password or other means for accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications device necessary to review such applicant’s social media accounts and search engine history, review an applicant’s social media accounts for the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year and investigate an applicant’s posts or searches related to (i) commonly known profane slurs or biased language used to describe the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person; (ii) threatening the health or safety of another person; (iii) an act of terrorism; or (iv) any other issue deemed necessary by the investigating officer. For the purposes of this subdivision, “social media accounts” shall only include Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, and “search engine” shall only include Google, Yahoo and Bing.
On November 14, 2018, S. 9191 was referred to the Rules Committee.
S. 9191 is sponsored by state senator Kevin S. Parker, Democrat, who has a history of assaulting people. From Wikipedia:
- In January 2005, Parker was arrested after punching a traffic agent in the face during a dispute over a traffic citation that he had been issu. He was subsequently charged with third degree assault, a misdemeanor, but the charges were dropped after he agreed to take anger management classes.
- In 2008, an aide filed charges against Parker, claiming he pushed her during an argument and smashed her glasses.
- On May 8, 2009, Parker was charged with felony criminal mischief for attacking a New York Post photographer, breaking his finger, and damaging the photographer’s camera and car door. Parker was stripped of his leadership position as majority whip and chair of the Energy Committee; convicted of a misdemeanor charge, criminal mischief; and sentenced to three years probation and a $1,000 fine. Senate Democrats expressed an unwillingness to expel Parker.
- In February 2010, Parker was restrained by his colleagues during a profane tirade against Senator Diane Savino in which Parker referred to Savino as a “b****”.
- In April 2010, Parker launched into a 2-minute tirade while colleague John DeFrancisco of Syracuse was questioning a black nominee for the New York State Power Authority. When committee chairman Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) told Parker he would be removed from the hearing room if he didn’t settle down, Parker accused his colleagues of racism, and followed up in a radio interview by accusing his Republican “enemies” of being white supremacists.
Parker should be the first to have his social media and search history investigated. Given his history of assaults, physical and verbal, he would also be the first to flunk the investigation.