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Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes

What is the problem?

In an average year, over 10,300 hate crimes in the United States involve a firearm—more than 28 each day. Easy access to guns gives a single, hate-filled individual the means to shatter numerous lives and whole communities.

The vast majority of hate crimes are directed against people of color, religious minorities, and LGBTQ people. Among reported hate crimes, racially motivated crime is the most common. Nearly half of race-based hate crimes target Black people. While the number of hate crimes involving religious bias has decreased over the last year, Americans continue to be targeted on the basis of their faith. In 2018, nearly 60% of such crimes targeted Jewish people and Jewish institutions. One in five hate crimes targets LGBTQ people.

Why is it an issue?

It is too easy for people who shouldn’t have guns—including people with felony convictions, domestic abusers, and fugitives—to buy them, but this is especially true when it comes to hate crimes. Under current federal law, a violent or threatening hate crime misdemeanor conviction does not prohibit someone from buying or having a gun. Recognizing the role that guns play in hate crimes can prevent future tragedies and incidents of gun violence that happen each day.

By the numbers

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Hate Crimes