Cicilline’s Disarm Hate Act Heads to House Floor

Sep 10, 2019

Reported favorably by House Judiciary Committee with two additional measures Cicilline cosponsored, bill prevents individuals convicted of hate crimes from legally owning guns


WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee passed U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline’s (RI-01) Disarm Hate Act (H.R.2708) today as Democrats continued pressing for action to reduce gun violence in the only developed nation where citizens are killed with guns at such an alarmingly high rate. In addition to passing the Disarm Hate Act, the Judiciary Committee also advanced two common sense bills that Cicilline cosponsored to ban high capacity magazines and establish a federal red flag law.


“The link between gun violence and bigotry is clear. Convicted hate criminals are a danger to our society. They should not be allowed to legally own guns,” said Cicilline. “I’m pleased that we are sending this bill to the House floor. Democrats are taking action to save lives. Until Republicans stop blocking these bills, the blood of nearly 40,000 Americans each year will continue to stain their hands.”


The Disarm Hate Act closes the Hate Crimes Loophole by prohibiting the sale of firearms to anyone convicted of assaulting someone based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Although convicted felons are currently prohibited from purchasing or possessing a gun under Federal law, very few states bar individuals convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from buying a gun. A misdemeanor hate crime, which can include menacing or assault, is often a precursor for more severe attacks.


Democrats on the Judiciary Committee also voted to advance two key pieces of legislation that Cicilline is a cosponsor of. The Keep Americans Safe Act, introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) bans high capacity magazines that increase the lethality of firearms. The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, introduced by Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24), incentivizes states to adopt laws providing for Extreme Risk Protection Orders, also known as red flag laws, to prevent those deemed a danger to themselves or others from accessing a firearm. The bill was amended to include provisions from Congresswoman Lucy McBath’s (GA-06) Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019 that establishes a process for obtaining an Extreme Risk Protection Order in federal court.


For the first time in almost a decade, the U.S. House of Representatives, under Democratic leadership, has taken action to address America’s epidemic of gun violence. In February, the House passed legislation to require background checks on all firearm purchases and to prevent a gun sale from going through if the background check is incomplete after three days. Although both bills passed with strong bipartisan majorities, Mitch McConnell has blocked their consideration in the Senate.