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S. 3053 (114th): Hate Crimes Prevention Act

S. 3050, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, was introduced the very next day after the Orlando shooting by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). The bill would prevent anybody with a misdemeanor hate-crime conviction from owning a firearm. Current law prevents those convicted of a felony but not those convicted of such misdemeanors. Although misdemeanors are lesser crimes than felonies, some worry that hate-motivated misdemeanors could in some cases serve as red-light signals for potential hate-motivated mass shootings to come, such as the anti-gay attack in Orlando.

“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,” Casey said. “It is time we as members of Congress do something. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, though all its nine cosponsors are Democrats in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Last updated Jun 20, 2016. View all GovTrack summaries.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 13, 2016.


Hate Crimes Prevention Act

This bill amends the federal criminal code to prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence.

The term "convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime" means a conviction for a misdemeanor offense that has, as an element, that the conduct was motivated by hate or bias because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person.

The term "received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence" means the imposition of an enhanced sentence for a misdemeanor that involves violence and is based, in whole or in part, on conduct motivated by hate or bias because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person.