CNN Suggests Gun Shops Should Check Buyers’ Social Media Pages Before Agreeing Sales
In the wake of the shooting on July 4th at Highland Park, and the fact that the shooter had multiple disturbing posts on social media prior to the attack, a CNN host suggested Tuesday that gun shops should check customers’ personal pages before agreeing to sell them firearms.
CNN Newsroom co-host Alisyn Camerota made the suggestion while interviewing former Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey and former FBI supervisory special agent Steve Moore.
Camerota noted that “these suspects … are starting to look alike,” before suggesting “is it too much to ask the gun seller to do a cursory check on social media?”
Moore had to explain to the host that privacy laws do still exist in the U.S. and that it isn’t the role of retailers to profile Americans.
“They’re not really allowed to, in some ways. They are retail merchants,” he said, before comparing the situation to asking liquor store owners to check Facebook before selling booze to potential alcoholics.
“The gatekeepers are the government, essentially. It is not the retail establishment,” Moore stated.
When Camerota ignored Moore’s point and said the liquor thing was a good analogy because it’s the law not to serve booze to already inebriated people, he again had to explain that it isn’t the job of gun sellers to profile.
The host then asked Ramsey “Is there no such thing as a database where a gun seller can look to see if somebody’s recently, in the past day, purchased an AR-15? Would that help, commissioner?”
Ramsey responded, “where’s the law that says you can’t buy, you know, guns in different places? I mean, we need to really sit and think through what we want. What’s the balance?”
As we highlighted earlier this week, people in New York who want a license for a gun will be required to hand over their social media history in order to pass a “character and conduct” test under new legislation.
Applicants for a gun license in the state will now be required to display, “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.”
That includes handing over all of their social media profiles they have maintained over the past three years, with authorities given the opportunity to trawl through every single political opinion and lifestyle choice the applicant has posted.
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