ON September 20, 2023
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Disarm Hate Act Reintroduced by Congressional Lawmakers
Congressional lawmakers reintroduced the “Disarm Hate Act” this week.
If passed, it would permanently revoke 2A rights for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime.
It would also extend that same prohibition to anyone who has “received an enhanced sentence
for a misdemeanor because of hate or bias in its commission.”
Closing the “Loophole” in Federal Law
Supporters of the bill contend it’s designed to close a “loophole” in federal law.
“This legislation builds on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and takes another step toward ending senseless violence, like the racist mass shooting that took place in Buffalo, by closing legal loopholes to prevent those with a history of committing hate crimes from possessing deadly weapons,” said Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.
“I am proud to join my colleagues today in introducing this commonsense bill,” he added.
- Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26)
- Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
- Representative Veronica Escobar (TX-16)
- Representative Maxwell Frost (FL-10)
- Representative James Clyburn (SC-06)
- Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
- Representative John Garamendi (CA-08)
- Representative Katie Porter (CA-08)
- Representative Nikema Williams (GA-06)
- Representative Summer Lee (PA-12)
Challenges in Defining Misdemeanor Hate Crimes
GunsAmerica covered its previous introduction in 2019.
Back then we spoke to Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms who raised concerns 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.
Examples of Misdemeanor Hate Crimes
Here are some examples of what could, depending on the jurisdiction, count as a misdemeanor hate crime:
- Simple Assault or Battery: Striking another due to racial, religious, or other prejudices without causing serious injury.
- Vandalism: Defacing religious properties with hate symbols or derogatory words when damage is minor.
- Trespassing: Entering someone’s property to intimidate or harass them due to biases.
- Threatening Behavior: Verbally threatening someone because of their religion, race, or other protected characteristics without committing another crime.
- Disturbing the Peace: Conduct, like shouting racial slurs, that disrupts public order due to bias.
- Harassment: Hate-motivated unwanted communications.
- Petty Theft with Bias Motive: Stealing due to prejudice when stolen property value is minor.
- Criminal Mischief: Damaging property with a bias motive when damage is minor.
- Bias-Motivated Disorderly Conduct: Disruptive behavior to intimidate a group based on biases.
- Posting Hate Symbols: Displaying hate symbols to intimidate or harass.
Given this list of potential misdemeanor hate crimes, what are your thoughts? Do you think the Disarm Hate Act will be leveraged to disarm law-abiding gun owners?