New York to review permit applicants' social media as new concealed carry gun law goes into effect

The law was a response to the Supreme Court's concealed carry ruling in June.

September 1, 2022, 11:24 AM

New York is adjusting to a new reality for gun possession as the state law prompted by a Supreme Court decision in June goes into effect Thursday.

The Supreme Court decision struck down concealed carry laws, making it much easier to acquire a permit. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state legislature responded with a new law that designated "sensitive areas" -- like schools, theaters and even Times Square -- as being exempt from concealed carry, and instituted stricter background checks for those applying for a permit.

The New York Police Department saw a 54% increase in gun permit applications prior of the state's new concealed carry law going into effect Thursday, but Hochul said at a press conference Wednesday that anyone who receives their permit after Sept. 1 will be subject to 16 hours of new training requirements, as well as providing character references and a list of former and current social media accounts -- thwarting possible attempts to avoid the stricter scrutiny.

PHOTO: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, right, attend a news conference about upcoming "Gun Free Zone" implementation at Times Square, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, in New York.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, left, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams, right, attend a news conference about upcoming "Gun Free Zone" implementation at Times Square, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, in New York.
Yuki Iwamura/AP

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams called the new approval process "common sense."

"It's really just almost a common sense of -- basically analysis," the mayor said. "If someone is spewing hate, if someone is making a dangerous threat, if someone is part of some form of hate group, the police officer or the detective or the investigator is going to use their investigatory skills to determine if there's something that's a red flag there. And it is really about using the good old-fashioned methods of doing investigation."

Adams added that there won't just be social media reviews. NYPD officers reviewing gun permits will also be "knocking our neighbors' doors, speaking to people, finding out who this individual is that we are about to allow to carry a firearm in our city."

The NYPD spent Wednesday -- the day before the new laws went into effect -- hanging signs in Times Square reading "Gun Free Zone."

Hochul's new legislation has already faced legal challenges.

The state's new gun law survived an upstate New York court challenge by a gun rights group attempting to stop it from taking effect Thursday, but the federal judge indicated the new law seems unconstitutional and invited the gun rights supporters to amend and refile their request for a preliminary injunction.

PHOTO: New York City police officers instal signs that read "gun free zone" at Times Square as new gun laws are due to come into effect, in New York, Aug. 31, 2022.
New York City police officers instal signs that read "gun free zone" at Times Square as new gun laws are due to come into effect, in New York, Aug. 31, 2022.
David "Dee" Delgado/Reuters

U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby in Syracuse rejected the eleventh-hour request by Gun Owners of America Inc. and others for an order to halt the rollout of the state's Concealed Carry Improvement Act.

But the judge encouraged the gun rights supporters to continue, noting that he himself had "a strong sense of the safety that a licensed concealed handgun regularly provides" to those "too powerless to physically defend themselves in public without a handgun."

ABC News' Mark Osborne contributed to this report.

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