WATCH: Social media shaping gun laws in New York
Campus Reform Digital Media Editor Rachel Kennedy visited Columbia University to ask students about Governor Hochul's new legislation pertaining to the concealed carry permit application process.
Applicants have to submit to a full social media review to determine 'good moral character.'
Campus Reform Digital Media Editor Rachel Kennedy visited Columbia University to ask students what they think about New York Governor Hochul’s new legislation pertaining to the concealed carry permit application process.
As part of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA), applicants will be required to submit a list of current and former social media accounts from the past three years to determine "good moral character."
When asked if social media was a good verifier of a person’s moral character, one student replied, “That’s a terrible idea…the government deciding what’s good and moral sounds like something out of a novel.”
Another student said, “there needs to be more targeted approaches…generally saying we are going to surveil your social media is maybe a bit too broad.”
Kennedy then asked what a "targeting campaign" would look like.
“I think that background checks are important…I mean I’m kind of changing my mind a little bit through this," the student responded.
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Another student stated, “I think this tactic will be used for bad reasons that will come against the will to, for the new African and Black people to self-determination.”
As part of the registration process, the applicant will meet in-person with a Licensing Officer to review their personal social media pages.
In Rochester, for example, a typical background check on a "'clean candidate" is estimated to take between two to four hours, according to the Monroe County Sheriff.
With this new legislation, the verification process is estimated to increase up to one to three hours per permit.
Monroe County currently has "600 pending pistol permits."
Kennedy asked students if the department's time could be "better spent elsewhere."
“Yeah, yeah, I think that’s pretty weird," one student said.
Another student echoed this sentiment saying, “Yeah, for sure, yeah definitely.”
“How in God’s name would they check that you're giving them all your social media,” one student said, “It seems like a performative waste of time in my opinion.”
[RELATED: Students for Concealed Carry sues Ohio State over campus firearms ban]
Kennedy then asked, “How do you think making it more difficult for the law abiding citizen to get a permit keep it out of criminals hands?”
“I guess it probably doesn’t do much," one student said. "I think that people that are using guns for bad purposes will probably still get them.”
“With other things that are controlled, like drugs for example, you can make something illegal and…if people want to they can find ways of obtaining it anyway,” one student said, “but does that mean we should make it legal?”
Kennedy replied, “Well, it is legal. It’s just a lot more difficult for someone like me to get one.”
The student responded, “Well, maybe the policy objective should be cracking down on illegal weapons.”
Another student said, “I mean if you like really racist about this I don’t really want to do the interview. Illegals and criminals, there are human beings here….I don’t have much more to say if you are going to say ‘Illegals are here.’”
Kennedy replied, “No, I said criminals.”
The CCIA is currently under scrutiny from some New York Representatives who put forth a resolution calling this legislation "unconstitutional."
Watch the full video above.
Follow @RachelK_Kennedy on Twitter.