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New York would require people applying for a handgun license to turn over a list of their social media accounts so officials could verify their “character and conduct” under a bill headed toward passage Friday in the state Legislature. The provision was part of a proposed redesign of the state’s firearms licensing laws hammered out by lawmakers after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down rules that had severely limited who could get a permit to carry a handgun outside their home. A bill advanced by Democratic leaders would eliminate the most strict barriers to getting a permit but also impose new requirements for applicants. Among the requirements: Applicants would have to show they have “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,” according to the bill. And as part of that assessment of good character, the bill says, applicants would have to turn over a list of any social media accounts they have had in the past three years “to confirm the information regarding the applicant’s character and conduct.” “Sometimes, they’re telegraphing their intent to cause harm to others,” Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said at a news conference. Gun rights advocates and Republican leaders were incensed, saying the measure intrudes on constitutional rights. “What is being proposed in New York is a violation of Second Amendment rights, but they are also asking you to sign away your privacy rights for social media accounts, signing away your First Amendment rights,” said Mark Liva, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s managing director of public affairs. State Republican Chair Nick Langworthy said “New Yorkers’ constitutional freedoms were just trampled on.” The bill didn’t specify whether applicants would be required to provide licensing officers with access to private social media accounts not visible to the general public. Read more