New York has adopted a sweeping gun control law aiming to ban firearms from a number of “sensitive areas,” including Times Square, also requiring social media checks for gun permit applicants to ensure their “character and conduct.”
“This to me is the embodiment of what it means to be an American,” Hochul said of the law soon after it passed the state Senate, adding she would sign it “in honor of our Fourth of July weekend.”
The law bans guns from a long list of “sensitive areas” around the Empire State, such as popular tourist sites in New York City, as well as schools, libraries, universities, government buildings, playgrounds and parks, public transit and stadiums. Residents will also no longer be allowed to carry firearms into private businesses unless the owners post clear signage stating it is permitted.
A more controversial measure in the bill requires those looking to obtain a gun permit to send the government “a list of former and current social media accounts… from the past three years” in order to confirm the “applicant’s character and conduct.” Additionally, they will be made to submit at least four “character references” who can “attest to the applicant’s good moral character.”
The bill was passed during a special legislative session called after the US Supreme Court shot down a century-old gun control law in New York last week. While the provision forced permit-seekers to demonstrate that they required a gun for self-defense, the court concluded that it violated the 14th Amendment “by preventing law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.”