That’s how many hate crimes our friends at the Southern Poverty Law Center cataloged in just the first month after last year’s election. And thanks to weak gun laws across the country, individuals with misdemeanor hate crime convictions can freely arm themselves with lethal weapons.
Now Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey and Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline have introduced the Disarm Hate Act – legislation that would prevent anyone who has been convicted of a hate crime from buying a gun. Even though it is obvious that people with hate crime convictions should not have access to guns, we know that the NRA-bought-and-backed Republicans in Congress will never pass this commonsense bill without intense public pressure. We have to take action now.
Gun violence kills an average of 93 people every day in the United States and injures hundreds more. Easy access to guns weaponizes hate and prejudice with deadly results. In just the last few years:
- A man acting out his anti-LGBTQ prejudices massacred 49 people – most of whom were people of color – at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida last summer.
- White supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine African-American people in Charleston, South Carolina.
- A man killed one Indian man and seriously wounded another after shouting racial slurs at them in a bar in Olathe, Kansas.
- A gunman opened fire in a Sikh temple, killing six people in Milwaukee.
It is unacceptable that someone with a hate crime conviction can still legally purchase or possess a gun. The Disarm Hate Act would close that loophole and keep firearms away from bigoted, hateful people with a history of committing hate crimes.
We know that the NRA-controlled Republicans in Congress will fight any gun control measure, even one designed to protect historically marginalized and vulnerable communities from bigoted violence. That’s why we are gathering as many signatures as possible to build pressure on Congress to act.
Thank you for standing up to the NRA.
Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
Paid for by CREDO.