New York State Legislature on Friday passed a new gun law which would make it mandatory for handgun licence applicants to hand over the list of their social media accounts to the officials. Officials can then use the information to verify the character and conduct of each applicant.
Other provisions in the law include restrictions to carry concealed firearms in specific places in New York.
US Supreme Court had earlier struck down rules introduced for restricting the carriage of handguns outside their homes. The new law is expected to bring new regulations onto the place.
While the law is expected to eliminate strict barriers to getting a gun permit, conservatives believe that imposing new requirements is in violation of their rights.
Important Requirements for a gun permit
Applicants will have to prove to the officials that 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,”
The next assessment is about good character. Applicants should hand over a list of their social media accounts used by them in the preceding three years from the date of applying. This is then used by officials to confirm the information about the character and conduct of the applicant.
Other assignments include providing officials with character references from four people, and mandatory 16 hours of firearms safety training. Two hours of practice at a shooting range is also necessary.
All applicants and people who got permits would undergo background checks periodically and hand over contact details of close relatives to the officials.
Leaders of the Republican Party and gun rights advocates have come out against the law, stating it as a measure which transgresses their constitutional rights.
Members of shooting associations and gun rights associations stated that this law would not even survive a court hearing for a single day. They went on to state that associations and individuals would take all necessary legal steps to challenge the law in the courts.
What makes you ineligible for a gun licence
The law states that anyone who got charged with criminal convictions in the last five years for intoxication diving, menacing or third-degree assault wouldn’t be given gun permits.
Those who are permitted to carry guns would not be allowed to carry a firearm in sensitive places.
What all are sensitive places?
- Time Square
- government buildings,
- places where people have gathered for public protests,
- health care facilities,
- places of worship,
- public playgrounds and parks,
- daycare centres,
- summer camps,
- addiction and mental health centres,
- public transit,
- polling places and casinos.
The law is expected to take effect from September 1st, 2022