Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-01) announced that they have introduced 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 this bill are Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hassan (D-NH), Markey (D-MA), Murphy (D-CT), Shaheen (D-NH), Van Hollen (D-MD), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Wyden (D-OR).
"If you’ve been convicted of a crime based on hate, you should have zero access to a gun. It’s not complicated," said Senator Casey. "It is time for Congress to step up to 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.”
“If you commit a hate crime, you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Period,” said Congressman Cicilline. “There is a clear link between these horrific hate crimes and gun violence. We know that those who commit hate crimes become increasingly violent as time goes on. No American family should have to suffer because of this loophole. Let’s disarm hate once and for all.”
This legislation comes as known hate groups are growing in the United States. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), 917 hate groups are currently operating in the United States, up nearly 17 percent since 2014 and over 50 percent since 2000. According to National Crime Victimization Survey data, between 2010 and 2014 alone, around 43,000 hate crimes were committed with a firearm.
The Disarm Hate Act is endorsed by the following organizations: Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, CeaseFire PA, the Center for American Progress, Everytown for Gun Safety and Sandy Hook Promise.