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New Bill Would Ban Gun Sales To Those Convicted Of Hate Crimes

A Pennsylvania Senator will introduce new legislation aimed at preventing individuals convicted of hate crimes from owning firearms.

“If you have proven you will commit criminal acts based on hate, you absolutely should not have access to a gun. It’s common sense,” Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat, said at a press conference on Monday.

“It is time we as members of Congress do something,” he added.

From the Hill:

Casey’s proposal come after 49 people were killed by a gunman at a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Another 53 people were injured in the incident, carried out by a man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria before the attack. 

The legislation would ban someone convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime or who received a “hate crime sentence enhancement” from buying or owning a gun. It would also make it illegal to sell a gun to someone “reasonably suspected” of being guilty of committing a misdemeanor hate crime. 

Casey added Monday if lawmakers care about security “then you have to take steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands and ensure our law enforcement has the resources needed to keep communities safe.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), an openly gay lawmaker, introduced a House version of the legislation earlier this year.  

“If you threaten a black family because of their race, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun. If you paint a swastika on the door of a synagogue, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun,” he said at the time. “If you beat a gay person because they’re gay, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun.”

Democrats are expected to make a new effort to pass legislation banning individuals on the terrorism watchlist from owning a gun. 

Casey backs that proposal, as well as universal background checks and banning military-style weapons.

But Democrats face an uphill battle to get new restrictions passed through a GOP-controlled Congress.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took an early swing at Democrats Sunday, saying they would try to use the Orlando shooting “to undermine the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms of law-abiding Americans.”

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