New York officials want to require submission of all social media history of anyone wanting to purchase a pistol or renew a pistol permit.

A bill in the New York State Senate, S9191, if passed, would require anyone wanting to buy a pistol or renew a permit be subject to a review of their internet history and social media accounts. The review would cover the applicant’s previous three years.


The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Kevin Parker, who is from the state’s 21st Congressional District. That district is in the northern part of the state, bordered by Canada and Vermont. According to, Parker claims passage of the bill would help prevent potentially violent people from obtaining or owning firearms.

S9191 “requires a person applying for a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver or a renewal of such license to consent to having his or her social media accounts and search engine history reviewed and investigated for certain posts and/or searches over a period of 1-3 years prior to the approval of such application or renewal.”

Purchasers or permit renewal applicants would have to submit log-ins and passwords for social media accounts. Reviews of those would be for the previous three years. Internet search histories also would be under scrutiny for the prior year.

The searches would look for “commonly known profane slurs used or biased language used to describe race, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, disability or sexual orientation; threatening health or safety of another person, or an act of terrorism,” according to the bill.


The proposed bill is getting mixed reaction, as would be expected.

“Most times, when you have these shooting incidents, there are breadcrumbs in social media plainly visible things. What can be done about that?” said State Assemblywoman-elect Jamie Romeo told WHAM. “While I respect his proposal, there’s a lot of enforcement problems with that, I think.”