Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

The Fine print: The following are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

Journal by dalek

There's a story in the submission queue about a gun control law passed in New York yesterday. I doubt it makes it to the front page, but there are elements of this story that would fit Slashdot's Your Rights Online section.

For a bit of background, the Supreme Court recently overturned a prior law that required people seeking a concealed carry permit to justify the need for doing so. The new law is a response to the Supreme Court decision.

New York state passed a law on Friday banning guns from many public places, including Times Square, and requiring gun-license applicants to prove their shooting proficiency and submit their social media accounts for review by government officials.

I've skimmed the new law and I didn't see details about how the social media checks would be implemented. However, I think we can look to a previous gun control bill in New York to see how this might be implemented.

If the bill passes, investigators would be able to look for posts or searches that contain threats to the health or safety of others; intentions to carry out an act of terrorism; or commonly known profane slurs or biased language describing the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person.

In order for investigators to access personal accounts, applicants would have to give over their login details to social media platforms such as Facebook Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.

The newly enacted law builds on one of New York's requirements that people purchasing guns be of good moral character. This seems pretty vague to me. This language is used to justify the social media checks. It's not clear with the new law how far back social media checks would go, but I assume that users would be required to turn over passwords for accounts that aren't publicly searchable. Back to the 2018 bill, here's the justification for the social media searches:

While the NYAGC hasn't thrown its support behind the bill yet, McQuillen thinks the proposals could be beneficial.

"We've obviously seen some of the mass shooters have a social media history that should have sent red flags," he said.

Gun ownership is protected by the second amendment. Logically, this includes the ability to purchase guns. The fact that a person chooses to exercise their second amendment rights is not probable cause or justification to violate their fourth amendment rights. It's also quite vague about what would disqualify a person on the basis of their moral character, leaving the definite possibility that speech and expression that is protected by the first amendment could be the basis for denying a person their second amendment rights. These rights have all been incorporated against the states under the fourteenth amendment.

I support gun control, but this goes way too far. In many respects, gun ownership should be regulated like driving. Freedom of movement is a right protected by the Constitution under the privileges and immunities clause. This doesn't specifically mention cars, but they provide a freedom of movement that isn't available through public transportation or other modes of travel. I believe this is analogous to the second amendment, which doesn't specifically mention guns, but courts recognize that guns are a major component of the right to keep and bear arms.

Just as people applying for a driver's license must demonstrate that they can safely operate a motor vehicle, I consider it reasonable to require gun purchasers show they can safely use a gun. Just like there's a vision test to get a driver's license, I think it's reasonable to require a person to demonstrate sufficient physical and mental health to safely operate a gun. Just as there's a driving test, I think it's reasonable to require applicants to demonstrate good marksmanship.

Even law enforcement questioned the effectiveness of the 2018 bill:

Meanwhile, Chief of Gates Police Department in New York State James VanBrederode questioned the effectiveness of trawling through social media and search history, arguing that looking at an applicant's history of mental health and domestic violence would likely be a more helpful predictor of future behavior.

"We chase down these social media threats," he told WHAM. "And very few are ever legitimate, because it's easy to sit behind a keyboard and say something bad. I would even agree that this has become a violation of your privacy rights."

One of the big problems with background checks is that many disqualifying issues never get reported to the federal database. The Supreme Court ruled on Printz v. United States (1997) that federal law could not compel states to submit such information. A lot of data never gets reported, allowing people who should be disqualified from purchasing a firearm to do so anyway. This ruling ought to be revisited.

Another issue is the use of stolen guns in crimes. Many stolen guns don't get reported to authorities until after they're used in a crime. Penalties can and should be increased for failing to properly secure a gun and failure to promptly report a stolen gun.

There are plenty of ways to improve gun control without egregiously violating people's freedom. It also raises the question of whether a person will be treated as suspicious if they don't disclose their social media history. The law is also vague about what constitutes social media. For example, SN has friends and foes, and interactions here are social in nature. Would I have to turn over my SN username and password to get a permit to buy a gun in New York?

Regardless of whether or not you want strict gun control, I'd like to think that we can all agree that this is a massive abuse of power and invasion of privacy.

Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Reply to Article Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @01:21PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @01:21PM (#1257542)

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/30/california-gun-owners-data-breach [theguardian.com]

    Background checks, social media checks? No thanks. I'll use the gun show loophole instead.

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Saturday July 02, @07:49PM (2 children)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday July 02, @07:49PM (#1257615)

      And buy from a potential narc, who may run those checks anyway on the information they can surreptitiously collect about you?

      • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @06:14AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @06:14AM (#1257690)

        Naah, just say weird ominous things about the government trying to make everyone gay and steal their precious bodily fluids PRAISE MAN JEEBUS. Might even get a discount if you're concerned about religious freedumbs, and how life is sacred, and that's why you need a murder weapon, because of those military aged males surging the border and performing satanic rituals PRAISE MAN JEEBUS. Throw in something about being SAVED. And the white pony jihad. If you post "thou shalt not kill" in front of courthouses, it gives magic pony buffs PRAISE MAN JEEBUS.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Saturday July 02, @01:51PM (11 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 02, @01:51PM (#1257549) Homepage Journal

    New York, Cali, and their fellow gun control states are most definitely usurping the authority of the Supreme Court. They have clearly stated their intent to ignore the ruling, and to find ways to go around the law of the land.

    The social media nonsense? FFS, in several cases of crazies shooting up schools or whatever, the cops ALREADY KNEW of social media posts, and failed to follow up on them. If the cops don't have the resources to follow up on obvious problems, what makes anyone think that they'll find time to follow up on every application for a concealed carry?

    I support gun control, but this goes way too far. In many respects, gun ownership should be regulated like driving.

    I can agree with that. Everyone likes to point at the wording of the 2nd Amendment, and apply their own interpretation.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Alright, let's fall back, and establish that 'well regulated militia'. Every state in the union has the authority, and the obligation, to regulate the militia, and fail to do so. Every able bodied male between the ages of 17 and 40 are enrolled in the militia. And, all of them are required to undergo firearms training, along with some other minimal obligations. (National Guard doesn't count - we are attempting to 'regulate' the militia, of which the Guard is only a rather small subcomponent.)

    Public schools should have, or at least have access to, approved ranges at which proper firearm training is done. Related classroom training should teach all students their rights and their responsibilities. Militia members should learn their responsibility to report careless, stupid, malicious, and illegal use of firearms. Militia members should also learn of their obligation and responsibility to respond to emergency situations, like riots. Militia members should be required to give some number of hours of community service each year - doing things like keeping demonstrations in check, so they don't become riots.

    You may agree or disagree with any single point - but you should agree that it's obvious the states are not regulating the militia. If the legislators did their jobs, much of the 'problem' with guns would disappear.

    Regardless of whether or not you want strict gun control, I'd like to think that we can all agree that this is a massive abuse of power and invasion of privacy.

    Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. But, authoritarians don't give a damn what any of us think. Hochul and people who think like her want to rule our lives - all while ignoring the laws they write. Hochul doesn't want citizens to defend themselves, but she hunkers down behind 24/7 armed guards. Ditto for Biden and all those worthless congress critters, mayors, and other 'authorities' clamoring for stricter gun control.

    --
    "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @05:53PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @05:53PM (#1257592)

      Fascist says fascist things after saying the exact opposite when he did NOT like "authority of the Supreme Court."

      You truly are a disgusting spineless worm.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Saturday July 02, @06:13PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 02, @06:13PM (#1257596) Homepage Journal

        Oh, do tell. Please cite when and where I have complained about the authority of the three branches of government. You know, legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

        I have often complained about the legislature not doing their jobs. Immigration, and abortion, along with a myriad of other issues that they simply fail to address.

        I have also complained about the executive being given more and more power with the war powers acts. Again, that has been done because the legislative refuses to do their jobs. It's far easier to allow the president to go ahead and do stuff, than it is for the legislators to sit down, and hammer out laws and policies. It's a win-win for them. If the president does what they like, they can take credit for allowing him to do it. If they don't like what the president is doing, they can shrug off responsibility, and use the president as a scapegoat.

        You've almost certainly heard me complain about activist judges. However, in these recent cases, the activists have been outnumbered by constitutionalists. That is, with Roe and Bruen, the prevailing opinion upholds exactly what the constitution says, not what a bunch of people wish it said.

        The Supreme Court has used it's proper authority to rectify a previous Supreme Court's improper application of authority, in one case. In the other case, the Supreme Court has used it's proper authority to strike down an unconstitutional law.

        It's all about the constitution. Either we follow it, or we scrap it.

        I vote we follow the constitution. I insist on it. At such time as a constitutional convention is called, and the constitution is changed, lawfully, then we can discuss that isssue.

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday July 02, @06:17PM (5 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 02, @06:17PM (#1257598) Journal

        So spamming didn't work and now you are going for the ad hom attack? Doesn't matter who it is, you make it personal.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @08:34PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @08:34PM (#1257620)

          Defender of the spineless worm defends! Criticizing the ammosexual Runaway is spamming? I did not know that.

          Supreme Court doesn't do "law" any more, they do Fascist Catholic now. In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @10:12PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @10:12PM (#1257640)

          Oh look, the editor supreme defending his own sock puppet. Color me shocked!!

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @06:16AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @06:16AM (#1257692)

          We are legion. #WeAreAristarchus

          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @09:31AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @09:31AM (#1257711)

            We are legion. #WeAreAristarchus

            Maybe, but some of us are not, but just think it was a really bad idea to censor a Soylentil on the basis of political views.

            Now would be a good time for Runaway to confess (further), and apologize, and for aristarchus to be restored to our community. If this is not done, I see no future for SoylentNews.

            • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Sunday July 03, @09:48AM

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 03, @09:48AM (#1257714) Journal

              really bad idea to censor a Soylentil on the basis of political views

              I must have missed that - linky please.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @08:00PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @08:00PM (#1257617)

      California recently had an information leak where holders of concealed carry permits were exposed. It would be cool to see how many of the Hollywood types have been given the right to carry protection.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday July 02, @10:01PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 02, @10:01PM (#1257637) Homepage Journal

        The Hollyweird people may be surprisingly high, or they may be surprisingly low. Most of the high profile people can afford to hire bodyguards and/or armed guards. Why carry a gun, when you can afford to hire 3, 6, or 12 to follow you around?

        --
        "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by deimtee on Saturday July 02, @11:03PM

      by deimtee (3272) on Saturday July 02, @11:03PM (#1257647) Journal

      The social media nonsense? FFS, in several cases of crazies shooting up schools or whatever, the cops ALREADY KNEW of social media posts, and failed to follow up on them. If the cops don't have the resources to follow up on obvious problems, what makes anyone think that they'll find time to follow up on every application for a concealed carry?

      You're missing the point here. The cops won't follow up anything. Applications will simply be denied.
      In fact, if the law stands, I would bet that the next step would be that you must have an "approved" social media profile. Simply not having a bad one won't be good enough.

      --
      No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Saturday July 02, @03:35PM (5 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Saturday July 02, @03:35PM (#1257565) Journal

    Well I disagree with this dopey law but clearly this is an issue that needs to be decided by the states and not the evil nanny state federal government!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @03:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @03:46PM (#1257569)

      It's already being decided by the states.

      The only constraint is that they're being required to respect civil liberties, which they don't feel like doing.

      If it passes, it will be challenged, and it will fall, and their outrage parade will do another turn around city hall.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Saturday July 02, @06:15PM (3 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 02, @06:15PM (#1257597) Homepage Journal
      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @02:27AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @02:27AM (#1257671)

        Concealed carry, like silencers and large capacity magazines, are the tools of cowards and blackguards, assassins and mass-murders, poachers and cop-killers, and those who fantasize about being such. Which one is Runaway? He constantly links to "The Truth About Brietbarf", so that gives us some idea. Even Justice Alito said that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to assuage the fears of cowards who think they will be attacked at any moment by a vast army of non-white people. But they are too cowardly to openly admit they are cowards who have to rely on Sam Colt's privilege, so they hide their piece, in hopes of provoking a situation where they have to "pull it out." Alito now has protestors surrounding his residence, and thanks to him and the other loony conservatives on the bench, every one of those protestors has the right to a concealed weapon, automatically.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 03, @02:49AM (1 child)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 03, @02:49AM (#1257675) Homepage Journal

          Izzat u ari? You do realize that everyone else who disagrees with me actually make intelligible arguments. Some of them make intelligent arguments. All you have is hominy grits.

          --
          "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @09:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @09:27AM (#1257709)

            Cuming for your guns, Runaway. Check with your local sheriff's department. Red Flag notification already in. And your antipathy towards law enforcement was duly noted.

            BTW, ari is permabanned. That did nothing to reduce the gun-loving asshole you are.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @07:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 02, @07:55PM (#1257616)

    Running roughshod over the rights of the people is just what they do.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @04:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @04:16AM (#1257679)

    ...elements of this story that would fit Slashdot's Green Site's Your Rights Online section.

    FTFY

    Or "BuckFeta"

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @08:59AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @08:59AM (#1257703)

    I'm a staunch supporter of all the guaranteed rights but I really can't see much wrong with this.

    It is not a violation of the First, Fourth or Fifth Amendments to read what someone is publishing. If it was a search of private communications, that would be one thing, but it isn't. Hands off private communications without a warrant, but read everything posted publicly. Most mass shooters (the big ones that are planned and kill a lot of people, not the ones that happen every day where someone shoots a couple of people at random) give obvious warning signs on social media. It shouldn't just be about guns, either, they need social workers too. Gun restrictions will at most slow them down long enough for someone to help them.

    I agree that "good moral character" is vague, but it also seems to fit within the "well regulated" part of the Second Amendment. This is a devil in the details situation.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @01:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 03, @01:10PM (#1257740)

      The list of "sensitive places" where even permit holders are not, well, permitted, is a much bigger issue. The list includes everywhere, making this a fig leaf for a continued ban.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday July 03, @02:27PM (1 child)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 03, @02:27PM (#1257759) Homepage Journal

      but read everything posted publicly

      No password is required to read anything I've ever published publicly. Hochul and company want those passwords to all accounts. They obviously don't want to read only what I've published - they want to dig into private communications as well. They want to see who I've friended, who I've unfriended, who I've followed, who I've liked and disliked, probably my reading history, groups I've approved of, etc ad nauseum.

      Handing over the passwords to all of your accounts amounts to handing over your diary or journal. There is a lot of private information contained in your account that should be private, and require a warrant before government can access it.

      Worse, if you're smart enough to not have social media accounts, you'll be denied your rights, based on that alone?

      --
      "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, @04:05AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, @04:05AM (#1257933)

        Hochul and company want those passwords to all accounts

        This does not seem to be the case, the law only says "a list of accounts." I don't see any way to spin that into including the passwords too, which are not mentioned at all.

        It probably doesn't matter, since the obvious intent is to make the permit so useless and the process so onerous that nobody does it.

(1)