Cohoes, NY Pistol Permit Police Tell Applicants to Reactivate Facebook Accounts

(courtesy themarysue.com)Hi,

My name is Jason and I live around Watervliet. I found the article [on the town’s pistol permit application Facebook inspection requirement] interesting. I would like to add that Cohoes, NY (neighbors) also has the FB requirement. The police actually reach out to your FB friends and ask about your character, some of whom you may not have spoken to since high school or even grade school. This is on top of the character references you include in your application. I have a friend who applied and told them that he no longer had his FB account and that he deactivated it a few weeks prior. They insisted that he reactivate it so they could go through his contacts, photos, and prior posts. It’s not fun in upstate N.Y. People need to know how restrictive law enforcement is on our 2nd amendment rights.

comments

  1. avatar Gunr says:

    Binges new meaning to the phrase “Reach out and touch someone”

  2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Talk about humiliating. And do the local police require strip searches to verify that applicants are physically fit as well?

    1. avatar Nick D says:

      Only if the applicant is female. After all, females are weaker than males, so the police have to make sure that they are physically fit enough to defend themselves with a weapon.

  3. avatar John Galt says:

    RF, looks like you’ve accidentally posted one of your April 1st entries.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    This whole thing is ridiculous. Is a psycho or a hardened criminal who is demented enough to post condemning rants on Facebook going to request permission from their local police?

    1. avatar Craig says:

      No, but the average person is dumb enough to post “I’m high” or “does anyone have weed?” or a picture of themself drinking from a 40 or with some other alcohol.

      If they want to see how your character is, Facebook is 100x better than BS reference letters. Not that I agree with the requirement for someone to be in “good standing” with the community. It’s a right, not a privilege. Except in NY and MA.

      1. avatar The Trouble with Timbo says:

        And I am OK with .gov viewing your PUBLIC FB page. There shouldn’t be a requirement to submit to a warrant less search of your FB page to exercise your 2A rights. We don’t give up our 4A rights for our 2A rights

      2. avatar John Galt says:

        We’ve just been confused all these years about the meaning of the word right in the Bill of Rights.

        1st – You have the right to free expression and religion as long as you say and believe the right ideas.

        2nd – If you are the right person, you may own the right (government approved) firearm.

        4th – The government will conduct warrantless searches and eavesdropping when it feels right.

        5th – You have the right to remain silent only if you say so in just the right way.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          You sir win the Intertubz for the year with that comment.

          TTaG staff: please consider making Mr. Galt’s comment an entire post.

  5. avatar George says:

    I thought the idea of having a CLEO sign off on an application was because he knew every person in town personally. Why do they need FB?

    1. avatar The Trouble with Timbo says:

      You thought wrong…

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      PR0n?

  6. avatar Jeremy S says:

    Restrictive on 2nd Amendment rights? How about in total violation of your 2nd Amendment protections as well as 5th Amendment, 4th A… probably others.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      1st too if they end up denying you for posting “FUAC” on there…

  7. avatar ST says:

    Just remember-the pistol permit he’s talking about is only a permission slip to BUY the weapon. He’d have to endure a different process to get a CCW.

    1. avatar Jim S. says:

      Sorta. It depends on the county you live in. As long as the county doesn’t rubber stamp “Hunting and Target practice only” on your permit, you can CC with it.

    2. avatar Gary Schulze says:

      In NY you can not touch, let alone own, a handgun without a pistol permit. As Jim S said, your pistol permit allows you to buy a gun (all your handguns are listed on the permit) as well as carry it. There is provision to limit its use which varies by county/judge. Western NY allows unrestricted use for the most part, but the closer to NYC the more likely it is to be restricted to some combination of target shooting, home or business only, or hunting.

      So far, all three communities mentioned for using FB are in Albany County.

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        Do you mean that without a New York pistol permit, you can’t:

        * rent a gun at a shooting range?
        * handle a friend’s gun at their house?
        * borrow a friend’s gun while hunting?
        * handle a gun at a gun show?

        1. avatar Geoff says:

          Yes Jon Galt, It is a felony in NY to touch a Handgun without a permit, You can not even take an NRA basic pistol class in state without breaking the law d/t the live fire component of the class. Some counties require you to have purchase a handgun without ever touching the one you have to put money down on before even applying, and remember the process can take 18months or more (In violation of existing state law requiring 6 months or less).

        2. avatar John Galt says:

          Blimey!

          I just fell down the Rabbit Hole.

          Hang on a minute while I reorient myself.

        3. avatar Gary Schulze says:

          At a gun range you may use someone else’s gun as long as the person that has the gun listed on their permit is present. I’ve heard of only one gun range that rents guns (in Niagara Falls) and I can only think that it’s because all the guns are on the owner’s permit.

          Some gun shops may ask to see your permit if you want to touch a gun. The only way to actually shoot a gun you want is the way I said above. As far as the other things you mentioned, they are felonies, but it’s unlikely you’ll get caught. It isn’t as bad as the Washington I-594 bill. YMMV.

          And yet, in many ways, NY is less restrictive than other states once you have your permit. You can conceal carry in a bar and “No Gun” signs only mean they can ask you to leave. The farther away from NYC, the better it gets.

        4. avatar joe says:

          that’s what it means. i was up there from out of state visiting colleges and i figured, what the heck let me stop in this gun store and see what is shakin. They wouldn’t let me touch a pistol. not even touch an unloaded one.

        5. avatar John Galt says:

          As life becomes more absurd, parody moves further and further out of reach.

      2. avatar John Fritz - HMFIC says:

        So… what happens if you own twenty or thirty handguns? Are they all listed on this document?

        1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

          I’ve always wondered about that. Finally, someone at my gun club showed me his permit. In Monroe County the permits are paper with info typed. His was two or three pages long.

          Other counties use plastic cards. I’m not sure what they do about the list.

        2. avatar John Galt says:

          This just in…

          New York is poised to pass the nation’s first law that will limit gun owners to owning no more than 3 handguns.

          Asked about the reason for the legislation, the state assemblyman replied:

          “Well, the New York State Police have told me that’s all there’s room for on the pistol permit.”

  8. avatar borg says:

    The following link will permanently delete your facebook account but takes 14
    https://www.facebook.com/help/delete_account

    1. avatar borg says:

      If you sign in to Facebook after using the permanently delete button before the 14 days have elapsed you will end up reactivating.

  9. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    This is simply appalling.
    Wow

  10. avatar Defens says:

    Sounds like a few county employees need to have THEIR FB accounts plastered all over the place. See how they like that level of intrusion.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Does the Collective hear this request?

  11. avatar doesky2 says:

    Next requirement….. subpoena of your church’s sermons to make sure tit doesn’t promote the subversive ideas of self-introspection, self-defense, or self-reliance.

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    Coming soon to California. If the good cause=self defense holding of Peruta v. Gore stands, the next battle ground here will be “good moral character.” [The law requires that an applicant for a CCW have good cause and good moral character.] Some sheriffs (like mine) will find good moral character with a clean record, LA sheriff (and SF, Marin, Alameda, and others), not so much. These counties have long required character reference letters, and some will in fact go and interview the references as well as your neighbors.

    1. avatar John Galt says:

      The sheriff will cease conducting character reference interviews once he finds a reason to not issue you a permit.

      What? You say Johnny was once caught smoking on the school bus?

      Yes, sir. I think it was 2002. He was a senior if I remember correctly.

      Thank you, ma’am. You’ve been very helpful.

      Glad to cooperate, sheriff. Johnny was such a nice boy. I hope everything’s okay.

  13. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Facebook is not mentioned in the Second Amendment.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Neither is “May issue”

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Aye. It mentions no kind of “issue” at all but instead reads shall not be infringed. Government needs to step the fvck out.

  14. avatar fishydude says:

    Damn. I’d have to delete all the anti-gun liberals from my FB contacts list. And my only sister. She is wicked liberal and thinks only her husband is smart enough to own a gun.

  15. avatar A guy from NY says:

    I live across the river from Watervliet (hudson river), in my county (Rensselaer) they don’t handle permit applications the same way as in Albany County (where Watervliet and cohoes are both located). They make you pay, fingerprints, classes, references…..and so on but they haven’t gotten quite as advanced as Albany county when it comes to violating first amendment rights. It’s pretty much common knowledge that if you want to get a permit to carry, and you live in the capital district, (Albany N.Y. and the greater area), you won’t be issued one in Albany county without a lot of headaches and possibly the hiring of an attorney. In Rensselaer county they are willing to issue an “unrestricted” AKA full concealed carry permit after you have had your hunting and target permit. NY is different for each and every county, some are restrictive some are not……it’s a disgrace.

  16. avatar KMc says:

    Great idea! Because Facebook is 100% truthful. Geez, idiots.

  17. avatar Ronald Pottol says:

    Violate Facebooks rules, have more than one account. Give them the sanitary one. But I’m paranoid.

  18. avatar steve says:

    Why are you complying NY? Criminals have more rights with less scrutiny. DO NOT COMPLY! Learn what it means to be an American and forget what it means to be a NY resident. What do they do if you do not have a Facebook profile? As an American I have a right to privacy, I do not give up that right when required to by strangers with badges and a false sense of superiority. DO NOT COMPLY!

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      IMHO, eventually anyone remaining in our country who wishes to retain any semblance of Liberty will have to accept the potential “criminal” label just to be free. Massive civil disobedience would set government and our nation on the path to restoration but, again IMHO, the distractions are too effective. America is fat, dumb, and happy. An economic collapse or major, blatant overreach by government might be some of the best things to happen to our nation. The People could no longer be distracted and would be forced to make choices.

      But, what do I know? 😉

      1. avatar T-DOG says:

        John, I like what you said here. Just don’t go and post this comment to your face book page.

  19. avatar Bort says:

    Just tell Facebook this is going on; I’m sure their lawyers will be in touch.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-and-privacy/protecting-your-passwords-and-your-privacy/326598317390057

    1. avatar Bort says:

      Additionally, it is a violation of Facbook’s terms of service to share or solicit a password, and violating a websites terms of service is potentially a crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        CORRECT!!

      2. avatar John M. says:

        If you think Facebook is going to call out our Progressive overlords over icky guns…well…I’ll believe it when I see it.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          As the billionaire head of one of the government’s favorite ways to watch people, Zuckerberg is the progressive overlord. The government and police merely do his bidding. Indirectly for the time being…

  20. avatar Jeff says:

    Nobody can successfully convince me that New York is in America.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      I can think of a few other states which are part of the Soviet Union.

  21. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Character evaluation? Character evaluation?!?!

    What other natural, constitutionally protected rights require the government to conduct a character evaluation before they can be exercised?

    This entire process is backwards. Under the Due Process clause, and its implied presumption of innocence, the government should be required to produce probable cause why an otherwise law-abiding citizen should be denied the right to keep and bear arms. Failing production of evidence of such probable cause, concealed carry permit applications should be nothing more than a rubber-stamp exercise.

    1. avatar John Galt says:

      Bingo!

      The Bill of Rights is not a permission slip.

      It is an explicit restraint on government power.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        That restraint on government reads, shall not be infringed. Government has long ago slipped its restraints and these ownership & concealed carry permit laws are just a small part of it. IMHO, the rot began with Marbury v. Madison and rights will never be as secure as can be without correcting that huge usurpation of power in government. One sure fire way to begin fixing it is reasserting the states’ right to leave this voluntary union.

        1. avatar John Galt says:

          Troubles were greatly compounded by the following busybody Progressive amendments to the Constitution.

          16th Amendment (1913)
          * Income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census

          17th Amendment (1913)
          * Direct election of U.S. Senators by popular vote (which effectively neutered state representation in Congress)

          18th Amendment (1919)
          * Prohibition

    2. avatar The Stig says:

      Well, prior to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voting was an area where states enforced moral character tests and literacy tests. So, perhaps congress needs to pass a Gun Rights Act?

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Perhaps something like: [b][I]A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.[/I][/b] Voting never had such protection. Goverment already violates the 2A. What would further words accomplish?

    3. avatar John in Ohio says:

      There shouldn’t be any concealed carry permits! The idea was that it would make it difficult for those with criminal intent to hide their guns. What happened was that government used it as impetus to further restrict the RKBA and those with criminal intent still hide their guns. It’s the same bullshit with background checks. This thinking has been a total failure. Get rid of it all and return to shall not be infringed. Individuals are ultimately responsible for their own safety. Abolish the nanny state and the police state with it. Allow people to bear their own responsibilities.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        There shouldn’t be any concealed carry permits!

        I agree with you 100%. But how do we get there, from where we are today? (I can only imagine what it must have been like to be asking that question 20 years ago.)

        I think the practical steps are something like the following order:

        1. Federally mandated reciprocity of State-issued resident CCW permits
        2. True shall-issue in all States
        3. Some form of unregulated carry (either open or concealed) in all States. (i.e. if concealed carry is regulated (requires a permit), then open carry is unregulated – or vice versa)
        4. Elimination of “Gun Free Zones”

        1. avatar John in Ohio says:

          Ohio has only had CHL law since 2005. Prior, most of us carried concealed without a license. There’s a good number of us trying to kill licensed concealed carry by exercising ubiquitous open carry. Licensing is still relatively new in Ohio so there is a chance. Unfortunately, most of the resistance I see is from gun owners who have a license and bellow “I believe in the RKBA, but,…” and squealing “Concealed means concealed!”

          I like #3 and #4. #3 is already how it is in Ohio. The right of carrying a firearm is largely untouched when it is done openly. The license is really only for the act of covering the firearm since the right to bear arms is entrenched in the state constitution.

  22. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

    ” I have a friend who applied and told them that he no longer had his FB account and that he deactivated it a few weeks prior. They insisted that he reactivate it so they could go through his contacts, photos, and prior posts.”

    Why the hell did he tell them that he no longer had a FB account? He should have just said, “I don’t have a FB account.” Since he deactivated it that is a true statement.

    1. avatar The Stig says:

      You could do that, and the next question is, have you ever had a facebook account? Oh, so you had one. . .we need you to reactivate it.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        So what if you’ve never had a FB account? Do they deny your permit or are you forced to open one before they’ll let you have a permit.

  23. avatar Chris J. says:

    1984.

  24. avatar Gene says:

    What law empowers them to ask for and expect an answer?

    What’s next? Going through your email? Postal mail? Memberships in VFW, Key, Kiwanis, etc? Credit/debt card statements? Filed tax forms? Passport stamps to know where you traveled?

    1. avatar The Stig says:

      It’s a may issue state. They can ask you for what ever they want (there are limits, but broader than we’d like), and you can either comply, or they may not issue you a permit.

      1. avatar Gene says:

        So, in each jurisdiction/county/whatever, they can ask any arbitrary and caprecious question desired? There is no uniformity, preemption, or anything?

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      The NSA already creeps through everything. It’s only a matter of time before databases are linked and complete dossiers on every individual are available to .gov agencies. The time to cut the head off of this snake is now, America…

  25. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Somebody needs to call Alan Gura.

  26. avatar Desert Ranger says:

    Being required to have your 4th Amendment Rights violated in order to excercise your 2cd Amendment Rights (that have already been violated). This is a slippery slope indeed!

  27. avatar pod says:

    And to think a few scant miles to the northeast in Vermont, you can pretty much buy and carry any semi-automatic gun you want, without having to have a permit to do so. By New York’s logic, the Green Mountain State should be flooded up to the peaks in bright red blood.

    1. avatar John Galt says:

      That river of blood is exported from Vermont to Massachusetts, especially to the Boston area.

      The politicians in Boston said it, so it must be true.

      And you thought Vermont’s biggest export was maple syrup.

      1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

        Chicago blames neighboring states, too. It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? What about the river of blood that extends from Detroit to every other place in the country? Cars cause more deaths. Everyone should walk if it saves just one child’s life, right?

  28. avatar Taylor TX says:

    I really feel bad for the folks in NY, that is one epic shit sandwich.

    http://i.stack.imgur.com/jiFfM.jpg

  29. avatar S_J says:

    Shit like this is why I’m sticking to longarms until I can get the hell out of the place.

  30. avatar Royal Tony says:

    There the statist control freaks again. Acting under the notion that rights are given to you by Daddy Government based on the feelings of others, and subject to being revoked should their feelings change. Sickening. There’s a similar process for CCW permits in my county. They ask your neighbors, your employer, and even your mother if they think you should carry. Once again as if rights are doled out based on how someone “feels” about something. Neighbor thinks guns are icky and Bill Maher is the best? Sorry no CCW for you. Oh did I mention you have to undergo a psych evaluation, which you must pay ($150) for out of pocket? -Sigh-

  31. avatar Hannibal says:

    Despite the fact that it is possibly illegal (due to an overly broad law, to be fair…) police departments have been doing this to job applicants for awhile. They’ll keep pushing to get away with more until there is pushback.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022207486.html

    1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

      I’ve read that a lot companies have been asking perspective hires to show them their fb page. It’s not illegal for a company to do so. My own opinion is public fb, yes, but private, no. If you make it private then you have an expectation of privacy, like using the telephone. The gov’t is a different animal, but I’m not sure the the 4A applies to hiring.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        There is, we’ve learned over the years, a right to privacy: even if it’s not specifically mentioned in the constitution. I’m only talking about government here, of course… though there’s another wrinkle. Many people have things on their facebook account that an employer is NOT allowed to ask about, especially a government employer. Sexual preference, religion, etc. These things can be made private or only shared with certain family\close friends but become apparent if you log in. I have no problem with the government checking out someone’s public electronic footprint, though.

        Additionally the government is asking (and “may” in this case means “shall if you want the job”) for an applicant for a pistol permit (or government employment) to break the terms of service for facebook which may be a crime thanks to an overly broad Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Some courts have held that it is not a crime but I don’t think it’s settled law.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      “They’ll keep pushing to get away with more until there is pushback.”

      Pretty much every government agency ever.

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        Every government since the beginning… Government always seeks power by nature. It will take as much as it is allowed by the people governed.

  32. avatar Scrubula says:

    Change your profile picture, change your account name to an alias, and deactivate it.
    Simply tell them you don’t use facebook. There’s no way it’s legal for them to require you to show them your facebook account…

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      That’s lying. Permit denied, lack of good character!

      (you can never trust that anything is deleted on the internet)

  33. avatar Justin says:

    How about those who’ve never had a facebook account ever, including myself? Also, it may be 2014 but there are still people out there that don’t own computers or don’t have an internet connection. I guess this is inconcievable for those living in an ivory tower… I feel like so many of these laws and restrictions come from those with such limited perspective.

  34. avatar big boy says:

    It’s been my experience in several decades as a lawyer that a tiny Gestapo man lurks near the heart of every policeman.

  35. avatar Grindstone says:

    Oh god, if they saw my reddit account and all my posts on /r/bad_cop_no_donut

  36. avatar Michael says:

    FYI… this is bogus… Fake, Not true. See the real application here: http://www.cohoes.com/Documents/police/Permits/CPD-PP-info.pdf

    1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

      You are showing a document from Cohoes by way of answering someone from Watervliet. While they are next to each other, they are not the same city. Still Cohoes does ask about your “Social Network Page” http://www.cohoes.com/Documents/police/Permits/PistolPermitInfo.pdf

      I will say that the process in Albany county is more complicated than in Monroe County. Monroe County is in Western NY and Cohoes is in the eastern part of the state about 150 miles north of NYC.

      We have three claims that three small cities in Albany County ask about social network. I see no reason to think it’s bogus.

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        Okay, New York is turning out to be far worse than I had imagined after the hoopla over the NY Safe Act.

        What possible justification is there for any of this on the Cohoes application that Gary Shulze posted above!?!

        * If you don’t live alone, list all members of household and their relationship to you.
        * Other properties owned
        * High school attended. Graduate?
        * College attended. Degree?
        * Profession
        * Job title
        * Supervisor’s name
        * Clubs, activities and organizations you’re involved with (including shooting)
        * Explain in detail your reason for requesting a pistol permit (emphasis added)

        Jeez! Next they’ll be asking for the name of your priest, rabbi, pastor, etc.

        1. avatar Gary Schulze says:

          No, that is just one county, possibly just one police department. I didn’t realize just how different the applications were. I think it’s safe to say that the more intrusive the questions the harder it is to get a permit. My county only asked reasonable questions. The deputy that interviewed me did want to speak to my wife, though.

        2. avatar John Galt says:

          Much like concealed carry, preemption is spreading across the nation.

          Maybe it’ll hit New York some day.

  37. avatar Phil COV says:

    Seems like with employers demanding access and now the government, one could make the case that no single person is responsible for anything on FB anymore. You could always just say you were hacked. Secondly, this is a perfect example of why NOT to have FB in the first place. There are WAY more negatives than positives. I deleted FB years ago and haven’t missed it. I keep in touch with my true old friends just fine. Thirdly, FB is only good for marketing.

  38. avatar ryan s says:

    This shit is getting out of hand.

  39. avatar jesse says:

    i can buy a handgun at 18 from a private party in alaska legally so whoever thinks other states are more restrictive do more research

  40. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

    I don’t even have a listed phone number and I’m going to have a Facebook account? My ass! I have never had one and don’t want one. Screw that damn thing! I say enough questionable crap on this site, akfiles.com/forums and my local newspaper who I love to hate. That’s as much as I’m willing to let the government crawl up my ass without talking dirty to me first or getting me drunk.

  41. avatar The Trouble with Timbo says:

    I just realized we dodged a bullet on that one. All they want so far is our FB login and password. We are really screwed when they figure out our aliases on TTAG!!!!

    No guns for you!

    1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      We are really screwed when they figure out our aliases on TTAG!!!!

      We were supposed to use aliases…?

  42. avatar Tommyr says:

    What if you’re NOT on Facebook? I’m not. Total waste of time.

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