California State Legislature Sends Governor Brown a Bill to Disarm Hate Crimes

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) Today the California State Legislature sent a bill to bar individuals convicted of a hate crime from owning a gun to Governor Jerry Brown.

After receiving no “no” votes in both houses, AB 785, the Disarm Hate Act, will close the loophole that exists within our gun control laws by adding hate crimes to the list of misdemeanors that result in a ban on the right to possess a firearm for ten years from the date of conviction.

“There are too many examples in our country’s recent history, which show what a firearm can do in the hands of people who practice hate,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr., who chairs the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is the author of AB 785. “The recent incident in Charlottesville, where heavily armed Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists, spewing hatred and inciting violence under the guise of protecting free speech and the right to bear arms, is not what the founding fathers of this great nation were protecting when they drafted our constitution.”

“It is saddening to think that when people look back at this period in our history, it will be marred by incidents of hate, violence and turmoil. Since we cannot undo the past, we can diffuse early signs of hate in people and disarm hate motivated threats from becoming barbaric acts of violence and begin to write a more promising future.” 

AB 785 now moves to the Governor’s desk and is one step closer to disarming hate crimes and making mass shootings by racists a thing of the past.

Serving as the voice of the people of California's 59th District in the State Assembly, Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. was elected to the State Legislature in November 2012 and re-elected in 2014. The district he represents encompasses a wide-range of diverse, culturally rich and dynamic communities. It lies entirely within Los Angeles County and includes the neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, and a portion of Huntington Park.