It’s Been Confirmed That NY Town Asked for Facebook Info for Pistol Permits
The Truth About Guns was the first to report on the story about the town of Waterville, New York was asking applicants for pistol permits for some disturbing information – their Facebook username and password.
We held off on running the story because the NY Firearms thread about the situation seemed to indicate that the form was mistakenly included in that one application packet, but now it seems like there might have been other people who were asked for the same information.
The department seems to even be defending their request for that information in a statement released this week.
According to Time Warner Cable News,
“In light of recent inquires made to this Department regarding a Facebook post concerning Pistol Permit Application Processing at the Watervliet Police Department, the following is provided:
‘Local police agencies in New York State are charged with the important task of conducting background and character investigations of persons applying for pistol permits, a duty that we approach with the attention it deserves.
Today, social media is a vital investigative tool and we make a use of it in these background investigations in order to render a well-founded and complete recommendation on applicants to the courts.
None of the eight (8) applicants who supplied Facebook information have had their accounts accessed, which I know because I am the investigating officer and the only person conducting background checks.
I approach this duty with the greatest respect for gun owners and their rights, a perspective that is shaped by my 9-year service in the U.S. Navy and exposure to guns at a young age through my grandfather, a well-respected gunsmith. I do not take guns, gun safety or our freedoms as Americans lightly, and as Chief of Police I have a serious job to do, and I approach it with respect.’
– Watervliet Police Chief Ronald A. Boisvert, Jr.
*The form originally posted as being included in the Pistol Permit Package has been removed and replaced with a version that does not request an applicants’ Facebook information.
It’s unclear exactly why the information was being asked for. The chief, in addition to the above statement, has previously said the request was an outright mistake. He’s also said that they ask applicants to log on to Facebook at the police station. He’s also said that he was instructed to collect the information by the Albany County judiciary, so who the hell knows what the truth is.
Also, if the chief is so pro-gun (as he tries to make it sound in his statement) why is he attempting to do anymore research into the backgrounds of applicants at all?
You’ll have to forgive my overall ignorance on this whole permitting process. Living in a state where one cannot simply decide he wants to own a pistol and then own one within an hour is foreign to me.