Two Democratic legislators introduced the “Disarm Hate Act” this week, which calls for the permanent revocation of 2A rights for any misdemeanor offense deemed to be a hate crime.
The bill was brought to both chambers, via Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) in the House and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the Senate.
Sponsors believe the bill closes the “Hate Crimes Loophole” by banning the sale and possession of firearms for anyone convicted of committing a crime on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
“Over and over again we have seen what happens when a convicted white supremacist, white nationalist, or neo-Nazi is able to purchase a gun,” said Cicilline, who serves as Vice Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, in a statement obtained by GunsAmerica.
“This bill closes the Hate Crimes Loophole and makes it much harder for someone to give voice to their hatred in a volley of gunfire. It’s just common sense. If you’ve been convicted of a hate crime, you don’t get to buy a gun. Full stop,” he added.
John Feinblatt, the president of Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety, cheered the measure.
“When hate comes armed, it can be deadly,” said Feinblatt. “But right now, there is no federal law that prevents people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from owning or buying guns — a situation that defies both common sense and common decency.”
“We applaud Rep. Cicilline and Sen. Casey for honoring the victims of shootings at the Chabad of Poway, Tree of Life Synagogue and thousands of other preventable tragedies for introducing legislation to disarm hate,” he added.
While the Left would have you believe that hate crimes are skyrocketing in the age of Trump, the data paints a different picture. An analysis by the Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that while reported hate crimes have increased in recent years, the number of unreported hate crimes have dropped over the same period.
Meanwhile, the overall total of both unreported and reported hate crime victimizations has remained somewhat steady over the past three years but down significantly since 2014 and the previous years when Obama was in office.
Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, raised an interesting point about the difficulty of defining a misdemeanor hate crime and the potential for anti-gunners to use this legislation to target law-abiding gun owners.
“The devil is in the details,” Gottlieb told GunsAmerica in an email. “Who defines what a misdemeanor hate crime is? Is protesting and calling an anti-gun politician an ugly name a hate crime?”
“I have no doubt that this will get out of hand and only disenfranchise legitimate firearms ownership,” he continued, adding “Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) who is the sponsor of this legislation has a track record of demonizing guns and gun owners.”
We’ll keep an eye on the Disarm Hate Act as it works its way through Congress. Stay tuned for updates.