Senate Public Safety Committee Supports Disarming Hate Crimes

Thursday, June 15, 2017

(Sacramento) Today, Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) presented AB 785 in the Senate Public Safety Committee and received unanimous support from the Senators to bar individuals convicted of a hate crime from owning a gun.

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 after being convicted.

“There are too many examples of what a firearm can do in the hands of hate,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr., who chairs the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is the author of AB 785. “Next week Monday marks the one year anniversary of the largest mass shooting in US history where 49 people were killed in the Orlando Pulse nightclub, and where victims were targeted because of their sexual orientation.”

“This is a history that no American can or should be proud of, but since we can’t undo the past, we can disarm early signs of hate in people and prevent hate motivated threats from becoming barbaric acts of mass violence.” 

Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, a Democrat representing the 19th Senate District, stated, “I can’t think of a time “more ripe” for this type of effort. We have got to diffuse the rhetoric; we have got to diffuse the behavior; we have got to get the guns out of the hands of people who are so irrational in their dislike for other people based on nothing more than bigotry and prejudice.”

AB 785 now moves to Senate Appropriations and is one step closer to disarming hate crimes and making mass shootings a thing of the past.