U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and other Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would keep guns away from people who were previously convicted of hate crimes.
The Disarm Hate Act would prevent anyone found guilty of violent misdemeanor hate crime from purchasing or possessing firearms.
Under federal law, anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from buying or possessing guns, but violent hate crime offenders can still purchase firearms.
Gillibrand says this bill will close the loophole, so anyone convicted of threatening or assaulting someone with a deadly weapon because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation will not have access to guns in the future.
“The coronavirus lockdowns amplified the gun violence epidemic in our country, especially in New York, where gun violence has soared. We must act to prevent proven offenders from accessing firearms,” said Gillibrand. “There have already been more than 250 mass shootings in the United States this year alone. We can help honor the victims and families who have lost loved ones to gun violence by passing the commonsense Disarm Hate Act and by closing the Violent Hate Crimes Loophole. It’s far past time to act on senseless gun violence, and this bill will make a true difference preventing future tragedies.”
The bill is endorsed by several organizations against gun violence, including Everytown for Gun Safety; Brady: United Against Gun Violence; Sandy Hook Promise and the Anti-Defamation League.