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New York approves gun law requiring buyers to provide social media handles


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New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a new gun control bill Friday after the Supreme Court ruled last week that the state’s rules that make it difficult for residents to obtain a concealed carry permit were unconstitutional.

The latest legislation was signed into law shortly after New York’s Democratic-controlled Legislature passed the proposal. Hochul had called the Legislature back to Albany on Thursday for an “extraordinary session” to work on the bill in response to the high court’s decision.

The law struck down by the Supreme Court stated that gun owners would have to demonstrate “proper cause” to receive a concealed carry license.

The new law will require people trying to purchase a handgun license to hand over a list of social media accounts they have maintained over the last three years, so officials can verify their “character and conduct.”

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul debates in the race for governor at the studios of WNBC4-TV June 16, 2022 in New York City. Early voting starts June 18 ahead of the June 28 primary. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul debates in the race for governor at the studios of WNBC4-TV June 16, 2022 in New York City. Early voting starts June 18 ahead of the June 28 primary. 
((Photo by Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images))

According to the measure, applicants must prove they have “the essential character, temperament and judgment necessary to be entrusted with a weapon and to use it only in a manner that does not endanger oneself and others.”

“Sometimes, they’re telegraphing their intent to cause harm to others,” Hochul said at a news conference.

Individuals applying for a license to carry a handgun will also be required to provide four character references and take 16 hours of gun safety training and two hours of shooting practice at a range. They will be subject to periodic background checks and will have to turn over social media accounts and contact information for adults living in their household.

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing at the governor's office in New York in 2021. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds a COVID-19 briefing at the governor’s office in New York in 2021. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Licenses will have to be renewed after three years and an appeals process will be established, the law notes.

Under the law, concealed weapons will be prohibited from a number of areas, including Times Square, subways, buses, bars, government buildings, churches, schools, libraries, playgrounds, parks and homeless shelters.

Firearms will also be barred from private establishments unless business owners explicitly state that they are allowed. Businesses must post a sign granting permission to armed patrons. In many other states, businesses that do not permit guns typically have to post signs indicating that firearms are not allowed.

Friday’s bill altered a recently passed law that banned the sale of certain bulletproof vests, although that legislation had failed to cover the type of protection worn by the 18-year-old gunman who fatally shot 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo in May.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: A protester holds signs calling for an end to gun violence in front of the Supreme Court on June 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. The court is expected to announce a series of high-profile decisions this month.  

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 08: A protester holds signs calling for an end to gun violence in front of the Supreme Court on June 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. The court is expected to announce a series of high-profile decisions this month.  
(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

The measure is expected to face legal challenges from gun rights advocates who say the law still infringes on citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

“Now we’re going to let the pizzeria owner decide whether or not I can express my constitutional right,” GOP state Sen. Andrew Lanza said. “This is a disgrace. See you in the courts.”

The new firearm law will take effect on September 1.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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