WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAJ) — U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Disarm Hate Act to prevent individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms.

The bill would address the gap in current federal law by providing that individuals who have been convicted of a misdemeanor-level hate crime, or received an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor crime after a judicial finding that they acted with hate or bias motivation, are prohibited from buying or possessing guns. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Maxwell Frost (D-FL).

“People who have been convicted of hate crimes should not have access to firearms. It’s that simple,” Senator Casey said. “I’m introducing the Disarm Hate Act because it’s commonsense to keep guns out of the hands of people seeking to commit acts of hateful violence.”

“Violent extremists and hate-motivated offenders pose serious threats to the safety of historically marginalized communities, and easy access to firearms makes it more likely that a hate crime will have a fatal outcome,” Nick Wilson, Senior Director of Gun Violence Prevention, Center for American Progress said. “Hate-motivated offenders have committed some of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history and even when they do not fire guns, they consistently use them to threaten, intimidate, and humiliate their victims.”

This legislation is cosponsored in the Senate by the following senators:

  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Ben Cardin (D-MD)
  • Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
  • Dick Durbin (D-IL)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
  • Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Chris Murphy (D-CT)
  • Alex Padilla (D-CA)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • John Fetterman (D-PA)
  • Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Peter Welch (D-VT)

The Disarm Hate Act is endorsed by The American Federation of Teachers, Anti-Defamation League, Brady: United Against Gun Violence, Ceasefire PA, Center for American Progress, The End Gun Violence Campaign at Amnesty International USA, Everytown for Gun Safety, GIFFORDS, Human Rights Campaign, Jewish Women International, March for Our Lives, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Newtown Action Alliance, Pride Fund to End Gun Violence, Sandy Hook Promise, Violence Police Center, Washington Office on Latin America, Southern Poverty Law Center and the UMC General Board on Church and Society.

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You can read the full bill HERE.