SACRAMENTO, Calif. May 4, 2017 – Today with bipartisan support, the California Assembly passed The Disarm Hate Act, to keep guns out of the hands of people convicted of hate crimes. AB 785 by Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D, Los Angeles) would close a dangerous gap in California law that currently permits individuals convicted of violent hate crimes to possess and acquire guns within ten years of their conviction.
Existing California law prohibits people convicted of violent crimes like assault or battery from owning guns for ten years, but that same statute does not apply to violent hate crime convictions. Those convicted of a violent hate crime get to keep their guns. This bill changes that.
Amanda Wilcox, Legislative Chair of the California chapters of the Brady Campaign, said, “Brady made The Disarm Hate Act a priority bill this legislative season; today’s vote is a huge success. Passing AB 785 will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. In California alone, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes since 2014. Hate-driven, criminal hands have no business having guns. We urge the Senate to pass this life-saving bill without delay.”
Since 2014, hate crimes involving guns have become more frequent and more violent.
Brady recently published a report on the 23rd anniversary of the Brady Law looking at state efforts across the country to expand the Brady background check system, including hate crime legislation like this.