UPDATED 10:50 AM PT — Wednesday, August 14, 2019
A GOP lawmaker is looking to change the way the government charges individuals who commit acts of mass violence. Arizona Senator Martha McSally is reportedly drafting a bill, which would make domestic terrorism a distinct federal crime.
McSally said the legislation would close a loop hole which currently prevents officials from charging suspects specifically for domestic terrorism. This comes in the wake of two recent mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso Texas, which collectively left 31 people dead.
“Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.”
— President Trump
Although crimes like these are already being treated as domestic terrorism cases by authorities, the suspects will not be charged as such. That’s because the government only has a criminal statute for International terrorism, and nothing for domestic.
While the El Paso shooter was still charged for capital murder, which means he is eligible for the death penalty, McSally says that’s not good enough. In a recent statement she said, “for too long we have allowed those who commit heinous acts of domestic terrorism to be charged with related crimes that don’t portray the full scope of their hateful actions.”
The bill is expected to garner support from leaders on both sides of the isle.
Original Source -> Ariz. Sen. McSally to draft bill to make domestic terrorism a federal crime