New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul has imposed new restrictions on prospective gun owners in her state, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Americans do not have to tell the government why they want to carry a gun.
Hochul endorsed a bill that would require New Yorkers to produce three years’ worth of social media posts in order to qualify for a permit to carry a gun. The bill at issue says the content in those accounts must reflect “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 explained at a recent news conference.
In response, Florida U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted, “Government sliding into your DMs [direct messages].”
Among Republicans, Gaetz has been the most outspoken on new gun measures, arguing that red-flag laws violate the Second and Fifth amendments and criticizing fellow GOP lawmakers who supported the gun-control plan recently pushed by Democrats and signed by President Joe Biden.
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But Gaetz also has been a vocal critic of Big Tech, which has repeatedly suspended or banned prominent conservatives on issues like COVID-19 and LGBTQ policies. That list includes Gaetz allies like former President Donald Trump and Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Last August, for example, when Twitter booted Greene, Gaetz noted, “Social media platforms like Twitter were meant to be a marketplace of ideas. Now, they aim to target and censor Conservatives and Republicans. Big Tech oligarchs have the power to silence their opposition at will.”
Now, under New York’s law, instead of predominantly Democrat bureaucrats denying the reasons gun owners give for wanting to carry a gun, they’ll just cite social media posts they don’t like.
Besides handing over their social media accounts, gun owners seeking permits must also provide four character references, the contact information for their spouses or domestic partners and prove they have taken 16 hours of firearms training.
Republicans and gun-rights’ activists were already fighting back.
Aaron Dorr, the executive director of the pro-Second Amendment New York State Firearms Association, told New York 1 that the new law was “the kind of bill that the Gestapo would be proud of” or that “you’d see in Communist China.”
“This will never survive a court challenge,” he predicted.