This bill would prevent people who have been convicted of hate crimes from buying guns. It would be illegal for a person with a misdemeanor hate crime conviction or who received a hate crime sentence enhancement to purchase, possess, or ship a firearm.
Current federal law prohibits felons — including those found guilty of hate crimes — from buying guns, and certain misdemeanors (like domestic violence) can lead to the perpetrator being prohibited from gun ownership. For those who have been banned from buying guns, there is an existing appeals process through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to this bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), this legislation would also prohibit the sale of guns to people who are “reasonably suspected to be guilty” of a misdemeanor hate crime. However, the legislation’s text doesn’t appear to contain such a provision or offer an explanation of how it would be determined that a person is “reasonably suspected to be guilty.”