The Center for Freedom and Safety works with all political parties in the interest of curbing hate incidents in the U.S. The news items curated below are representative of the issues with which we and our partners are concerned.
South Carolina: Hate Crime Bill Adopted in Bluffton
October 11, 2023 | Local Legislation
The town of Bluffton, South Carolina has adopted a new Hate Crime Bill. The bill will create a new chargeable offense that can be added to a primary charge when one is charged in connection with a bias incident. The charge is called hate intimidation, and is outlined as, "… the intent to intimidate a person or persons in whole or in part because of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or national origin of any person." This charge is punishable with a penalty of up to $500 as well as the possibility of up to 50 days in jail.
Chester City Council in South Carolina has passed its first hate crime ordinance in a proactive move to combat bias-motivated criminal activity. The ordinance defines hate crimes as those intending harm based on characteristics like race, religion, and sexual orientation, with violators facing misdemeanor charges and potential restitution for damages. This initiative is significant, as South Carolina currently lacks a statewide hate crimes law, and Chester is taking steps independently to promote diversity and safety within the city.
Delaware County, PA, Passes Anti-Hate-Crime Resolution
September 23, 2023 | Local Legislation
Delaware County Council unanimously passed a resolution denouncing hate crimes in response to a rise in hate incidents (a 65% increase in antisemitic incidents in 2022). The resolution emphasizes that bigotry, violence, hate, and racism are incompatible with the council's values and the community. The decision follows several antisemitic vandalism incidents, including the distribution of racist and antisemitic materials. The resolution also advocates for stricter hate crime laws in Pennsylvania to combat the increasing trend (of hate crimes and encourages residents to take a stand against hate.
Legislation Introduced to Restrict Gun Access to Hate Crime Offenders
September 14, 2023 | Federal News
U.S. Senator Bob Casey has introduced the Disarm Hate Act, aiming to prevent those convicted of violent misdemeanor hate crimes from acquiring guns. This proposed legislation addresses a gap in federal law, as current regulations only apply to felons, including hate crime convicts. The bill aims to curb potential violence linked to hate crimes by restricting firearm access for those convicted.