Rep. Scott files HB 209: Bans gun sales to those convicted of hate crimes

Rep. Scott files HB 209: Bans gun sales to those convicted of hate crimes

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - State Representative Attica Scott filed House Bill 209 on Friday to ban anyone convicted of a hate crime from purchasing and possessing firearms.

A 2016 study by the Center for American Progress revealed that between 2010 and 2015, 46,500 hate crimes were committed involving the use of a gun, an average of 20 hate crimes per day.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists 23 hate groups operating in Kentucky.

According to the FBI, between 2010 and 2016 72% of Kentucky's hate crimes were related to race, ethnicity or ancestry.

Most hate crimes experienced by U.S. residents are not reported to the police. Even without the unreported cases, the FBI's limited data on hate crimes presents a disturbing picture of the problem, the Kentucky Office of House Minority Caucus said in a statement.

People convicted of felony-level hate crimes are barred from owning a gun, but in most states if the hate crime was a misdemeanor — which can include assault and battery, damage to property, and harassment — the convicted person remains free to buy guns, a statement from the Kentucky Office of House Minority Caucus said.

"With House Bill 209, Kentucky joins three other states in the southeast that have a tarnished past and present as it relates to hate crimes against people because of their nation of origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation," said Representative Scott in a statement. "In Louisville, the Police Foundation recently acknowledged that hate crimes are an issue."

If passed, Kentucky would join growing efforts in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi to protect historically targeted communities from gun violence.

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