This Is the First Gun Control Bill Introduced After the Orlando Shooting

The legislation, from Sen. Bob Casey, limits gun access for people convicted of hate crimes.

Participants in a candlelight vigil outside of the White House kiss to show their solidarity with the victims of Sunday's Orlando shooting. Manuel Balce Ceneta /AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


One day after the deadliest mass shooting in American history killed at least 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced legislation that would bar people convicted of hate crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms.

Casey announced the Hate Crimes Prevention Act at a press conference in Pittsburgh this afternoon. He indicated that Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, targeted people at the Pulse nightclub because of their sexual orientation. Mateen’s father has said Mateen was once angered by a public display of affection by two men.

“We have to make sure that we’re focused on the connection between hate crimes and violence, and the connection between hate crimes and acts of terror or violence against individual communities,” Casey said. “In Orlando, he was targeting people based on who they were and who they loved, and that has to be a focus of our work as well.”

Casey first indicated his plans for the legislation yesterday when he reacted to the Orlando shooting with a series of tweets:

Casey’s office also released a statement about the Orlando shooting, reiterating much of what was written in his tweets.

Casey’s comments on the Orlando shooting stand in stark contrast to those made by Republican politicians, who have focused on possible terrorist connections between Mateen and ISIS. Earlier today, President Barack Obama told reporters that there was no indication that Mateen was connected to a larger terrorist network.

The Hate Crimes Prevention Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) in February. The House never voted on the bill.

This post has been updated to include information about the House version of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate