Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of those who commit criminal acts based on hate. The Disarm Hate Act would prevent individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms. Joining Senator Casey as cosponsors of the bill are Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
"If you’ve been convicted of a violent hate crime, you should have zero access to a gun. It’s not complicated," said Senator Casey. "It is time for Congress to step up to prevent the horrors of gun violence. If we care about the safety and security of our communities, it’s imperative that we put measures in place to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
FBI reports of hate crimes have increased during the last three consecutive years, with more than 7,100 hate crimes reported in 2017 alone. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), there are approximately 204,000 hate crimes committed in the U.S. every year targeting victims based on their actual or perceived race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability or religion. Guns are a frequent tool of hate-motivated violence and intimidation. Data from the NCVS shows that, from 2010 through 2016, there were 56,130 hate crimes committed in the U.S. that involved a firearm.
The Disarm Hate Act is endorsed by the following organizations: Giffords, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, CeaseFire PA, the Center for American Progress, Everytown for Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise.