WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania believes anyone who has been convicted of any sort of hate crime should not be allowed to own a gun.
Seeking to make it a law, he’s introduced the Disarm Hate Act.
“We need to stop hate in its tracks,” Casey said. “We know, over and over again, a misdemeanor hate crime often leads to a violent felony with a gun.”
Casey’s bill is designed to curtail the nation’s problem with gun violence.
Lawmakers have passed gun reform in the Democratic-controlled House, but the Republican-controlled Senate won’t vote on the bills.
Casey placed the blame on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“[McConnell] refused to allocate time for debate and votes, debate and votes, over and over again,” Casey said.
Casey says in addition to universal background check legislation, his bill should be taken up as well.
“The broader issue is this, even prior to the horror of Friday in Virginia, the Senate should be debating and voting on common-sense gun measures,” he said.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) says Democratic efforts to pass gun reform legislation is just political grandstanding.
NRA spokesperson Lars Dalseide thinks the bill is designed to criminalize legal gun owners.
“Our biggest problem is they’re trying to create laws that make law-abiding citizens criminals,” he said.
“They’re not looking at the people who are using the firearms illegally,” Dalseide added. “You have people who break the law with a firearm – then charge them with that.”
So far, there are no signs the Senate will allow a vote on any gun legislation.