New York recently approved a law requiring those applying for a concealed handgun permit to provide access to their social media accounts so that their “character and conduct” can be evaluated.

It would be the responsibility of the local sheriff’s office personnel, the judges, or the state officials to read over those accounts and evaluate whether or not any assertions have been made that demonstrate potentially harmful behavioral patterns or motives.

The regulation is intended to detect cases in which potentially dangerous persons “telegraphed” their plan to perpetrate mass shootings online before carrying them out.

“Sometimes, they’re’ telegraphing their intent to cause harm to others,” Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said at a media briefing.

Applicants for a license to hold a concealed firearm will be required by a law that was passed and brought into effect last week by Governor Kathy Hochul to disclose any social media accounts, current, and past, that they have held within the preceding three years the Associated Press indicated in its report.

The law, which will go into effect on September 1st, has supporters who believe it “strikes” the appropriate balance between adhering to the verdict of the Supreme Court and preventing firearms out of the hands of persons who are apt to use them irresponsibly and with the desire to commit a crime.

In addition, the applicants must undergo approximately 16 hours of safety training to demonstrate their gun competence. Furthermore, they are expected to offer four character references and participate in a personal interview.

Kathy Hochul was ceremonially sworn in as 57th Governor of the State of New York Red Room, Capitol Building, Albany, NY. (Source: NY Senate PhotoCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Prohibitions of the New Law

People convicted of crimes within the past five years for driving while drunk, threatening, or third-degree violence will not be eligible for licenses under the new scheme. People will not be permitted to carry guns in a broad list of “sensitive places,” such as the famous tourist-crowded Times Square in New York City.