Nearly half of US voters favor social media and internet checks for...

Nearly half of US voters favor social media and internet checks for gun-license applicants, poll finds

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One bill would mandate background checks for all firearm sales, not just those sold in shops like these guns for sale at a Dick's Sporting Goods in Massachusetts. (Courtesy: Flickr/Sean)

WASHINGTON  — Nearly half of U.S. voters have a favorable opinion of legislation New York is considering that would require the state to review the social media posts and internet searches of gun-license applicants, according to a poll released Friday.

The Rasmussen Reports survey found that 46 percent of the respondents said they would like their respective states to pass a law similar to what New York is considering, compared with 39 percent who said they would not. Meanwhile, 16 percent said they are not sure if they support the proposal.

The sampling included 1,000 likely voters and was carried out Monday and Tuesday. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

New York Senate Bill 9191 would require the state to conduct a three-year review of social media posts and a one-year review of internet searches to determine if the applicant is fit for a handgun permit.

Evidence of predisposition to violence is often found in the social media posts and internet searches of mass shooters after they have already acted.

Such was the case with Robert Bowers, who has been charged with killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Shortly before the Oct. 27 mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue, Bowers wrote a thinly veiled threat on his Gab social media account. The social media site, which was said to host many extremists, has since been taken down.

Federal prosecutors charged Bowers with 29 counts in connection with the attack, in which 7 people were injured in addition to the 11 who were killed.

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