ALBANY — A Manhattan state senator wants to bar anyone who commits a hate crime from owning firearms.
Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan) said the bill is needed as the number of hate crimes has climbed this year.
With the bulk of hate crime convictions falling under misdemeanor categories, a number of them are not covered under existing gun safety laws, Squadron aid.
Under current state law, a person can lose their rights to own a gun if they are convicted of a “serious offense.”
But many hate crime convictions fall under misdemeanor categories that are not covered by the “serious offense” stipulation, like spray painting a swastika on a synagogue wall, Squadron said.
His bill would include hate crime convictions as a “serious offense” that restricts access to firearms.
“As the politics of hatred and fear continue to fuel violence in our communities, it’s urgent we help ensure safety,” he said.
Squadron quotes Center for American Progress stats showing that about 46,500 hate crimes between 2010 and 2015 involved the use or threatened use of a gun.
Six states, including New Jersey, already have all or some of the provisions of Squadron’s bill on the books, the senator said.
Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Nassau County) held a press conference on Long Island Monday to tout the Assembly version of the bill.