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California Bill Would Bar Hate Crime Offenders From Owning Guns

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New California gun legislation would ban anyone convicted of hate crimes from purchasing a gun.
Current law bans criminals convicted of felonies from owning guns.

The Disarm Hate Act would apply to misdemeanor hate crimes.

Charleston. Orlando. San Bernardino.

It doesn't matter where the shooting happens, Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), says the motive is often the same: hate.

"We always understood it but it's risen to a level I've never seen, ever," said Jones-Sawyer.

Jones-Sawyer says hate crimes are precursors to more serious crimes. And he says he can curb gun violence by targeting people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes.

"We decided to go in close that loop, prohibit them from owning a firearm," he said.

The Disarm Hate Act, bans anyone convicted of a hate crime from owning a gun for 10 years after the conviction. The bill would take away gun rights for anyone convicted of vandalizing places of worship or committing a crime against someone based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

"Everything is written so broad that sooner or later we're not gonna to be able to walk down the street," said Josh Deaser of Just Guns.

Deaser worries the law would be applied to petty crime, like someone shouting a racial slur.

"I mean, are you actively picketing in front of a church? Are you just saying hey I don't like Hillary Clinton?" Said Deaser.

The FBI says hate crimes have surged in recent years. Now California lawmakers say they're seeking harsher penalties... before it happens again.

The bill passed in Assembly with zero opposition and heads to a public safety committee Tuesday.

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