New York considers bill that would not only deny, but revoke, gun licenses over ‘slurs’ and ‘biased language’

A bill introduced by a Democratic New York state senator proposes existing gun licenses be revoked and license applications be denied for anyone using hate speech.

The New York State Senate is reportedly considering a bill from Sen. Kevin Parker which will allow a search of an  applicant’s social media or search engine history to decide on a gun license application, according to WKBW.


Applicants would have to make available their passwords for Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram as well as allow investigators to access to their Google, Yahoo and Bing searches.

According to Townhall, the bill’s text reads in part:

In order to ascertain whether any social media account or search engine history of an applicant presents any good cause for the denial of a license, the investigating officer shall… review an applicant’s social media accounts for the previous three years and search engine history for the previous year and investigate an applicant’s posts or searches related to (I) commonly known profane slurs or biased language used to describe the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person; (II) threatening the health or safety of another person; (III) an act of terrorism; or (IV) any other issue deemed necessary by the investigating officer.


Gun licenses could be revoked based on the same criteria.

No explanation is provided for what constitutes “biased language,” as the Brooklyn Democrat proposed prospective handgun owners allow searches of the last three years of their social media postings and a year of their online search histories.

Applicants would be required to provide police with “any log-in name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account, service, or electronic communications device necessary to review such applicant’s social media accounts and search engine history.”

No vote is currently scheduled for the bill which was submitted on Nov. 14 but there was plenty of reaction already on Twitter.

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Frieda Powers


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