Experts question the effectiveness and legality of new gun law on social media in New York


Gun rights advocates and social media pundits are sounding off what some are calling groundbreaking legislation in New York City designed to flag the social media accounts of would-be mass shooters before violence happens.

It comes in the wake of a shooting at a July 4 parade by a man who investigators say posted his intentions online.

If you want to buy a gun in New York after September 1, you’ll need to provide more than just your ID and Social Security number.

Legislation signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul requires candidates to also provide a list of social media accounts they have maintained over the past three years, so officials can verify their “character and conduct “.

Authorities say several red flags were missed on Robert Crimo’s social media accounts before he fired more than 70 rounds from a rooftop, killing seven people during the parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

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RELATED: Parade shooting suspect bought 5 guns despite threats

The 21-year-old’s posts revealed he was obsessed with violence. In one article, he was seen wearing tactical gear and scattering bullets on the ground. Last October, he posted crudely drawn images showing a figure shooting victims with a rifle and then being shot by police in a pool of blood.

New York’s new law will also require applicants to provide the state with four character references, proving they have the temperament and judgment to trust themselves with a handgun.

“While the idea is good, I think the implementation is going to be very difficult,” said Dwann Holmes, a social media expert at Brand on Demand Media.

Holmes points out that it’s difficult for social media platforms themselves to monitor who they think might be a threat, and she said social media users often choose not to get involved. She wonders if it’s realistic to rely on the gun seeker to be honest about their social media accounts, as accounts can be created easily with a valid email address.

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“Because what you’re trying to guess here is that you’re trying to think that a criminally minded person is going to walk in integrity at that point and put you in touch with someone who will vouch for her – that in itself is a big, huge dichotomy for me,” Holmes said. but when all is said and done, the question is how effective it will really be.”

News4JAX also spoke with gun rights attorney Eric Friday, who said he expects the New York law to be challenged and overturned.

“It’s time for these politicians to understand what the court told them in the ruling a few weeks ago, the Second Amendment is not a second class right,” he said Friday. “It’s not subject to different rules than the First Amendment.”

The Governor of New York has also banned guns in specific areas, including Times Square, subways, and government buildings, to name a few.

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The law also comes into effect following a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo and an attack on a Brooklyn subway this year.

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