Lawmakers move to close national ‘hate crime loophole’
By Chris Eger
U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline, along with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, wants expanded gun prohibitions on those who have been convicted of minor hate crimes. (Photo: Rep. Cicilline’s office)
Democrats on Capitol Hill introduced legislation Thursday backed by gun control groups to strip Second Amendment rights from those who commit misdemeanor hate crimes.
The measure, termed the Disarm Hate Act, comes near the anniversaries of the mass killings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and would ban the sale of firearms to those convicted of vandalizing a place of worship or assaulting someone based on their perceived race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
“If you commit a hate crime, you shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun. Period,” said sponsor, U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat. “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.”
Introduced Thursday as H.R.2841 in the House with 18 co-sponsors, and S.1324 in the Senate by Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey with 10 co-sponsors, the legislation would make