Should Your Social Media Be Checked Before You're Able to Get a Gun License?
In the wake several mass shootings in which suspects were found to have previously made hateful or violent comments on social media, some are asking whether people's social media should be checked before they're given a gun license.
New York State Senator Kevin Parker has introduced legislation that would require police to look at a gun license applicant's social media and online searches over the previous three years, and reject those who've posted threats of violence or hate-filled posts based on race or ethnicity. The Brooklyn Democrat said he was inspired to propose the measure after the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre in October in which 11 people were killed by a suspect who'd posted anti-Semitic rants on social media.
Gun rights proponents as well as free speech watchdogs have raised concerns about the bill. Tom King, the president of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, told AP the bill would be the beginning of, quote, "the slippery slope of taking away your First Amendment" free speech rights.
Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel also questions the measure, saying, "A person could be prejudiced. That doesn’t mean he’s not entitled to his Second Amendment right."