May 15, 2019

Harris, Colleagues Introduce Protections Against Gun Violence

The Disarm Hate Act Would Keep Guns Away From Violent Offenders

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Tuesday joined Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), along with 12 of their colleagues, in reintroducing 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.

“As hate crimes continue to rise in this country, it is unconscionable that the perpetrators of these crimes are allowed to purchase or possess a firearm,” said Harris. “Congress must act immediately to enact this common-sense reform to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of violent and hateful individuals.”

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.

In addition to Harris and Casey, the legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), 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). 

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.