• Sen. Casey unveils new gun legislation in Pittsburgh

    PITTSBURGH - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey has unveiled legislation that would ban gun sales to those who commit misdemeanor hate crimes.
    Casey was joined at a press conference Monday morning in Pittsburgh by Mayor Bill Peduto for the announcement.
    “We may not be able to extinguish all hate, but we can take action to limit the damage so we don’t have to have these types of press conferences in the future,” Peduto said.
    The Hate Crimes Prevention Act denies the use of a gun to anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime under federal, state or tribal law who are found to be motivated by hate or bias against a victim's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
    “That’s going to prevent you from getting a weapon you can use to continue your hate,” Casey said.
    Between 2010 and 2014, more than 43,000 hate crimes were committed with firearms in the U.S., according to Casey.
    “We have to make sure we're focused on the connection between hate crimes and violence,” he said.
    Casey also addressed the next steps that he believes the U.S. needs to take to keep Americans safe in the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday. 
    “He was targeting individuals because of who they were and who they love,” Casey said.
    He is calling for a ban on military-style weapons, changes to the background check system for those purchasing guns, a limit on high-capacity magazines and to ban people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.
    “The idea that you can be on the terrorist watch list, not be allowed to get on an airplane, but you can still have a weapon, that makes no sense at all,” Casey said.
    Casey said law enforcement also needs additional resources to deal with violence and terrorism.

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