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Combating Violent Hate

Kamala Harris’ Plan to Disarm the Threat of Domestic Terrorism

In recent weeks, communities across America have been traumatized by domestic terrorism and gun violence. From Gilroy to El Paso, people are being killed, and President Trump has done more to inflame the threat than confront it.

Trump has weakened gun laws and toed the line of the NRA. He’s played coy with white supremacists and shifted resources away from countering violent white supremacist threats. He’s disgraced the office he holds, and while he didn’t pull a trigger, he’s been tweeting out the ammunition.

Kamala Harris has a simple message: There are only “very fine people” on one side, and we intend to act and win. As President, Harris will speak truth about the magnitude of this threat and take immediate action to combat and disarm violent hate. 


HERE’S HOW WE’LL DO IT:

Empower federal courts to issue new “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Orders” to temporarily seize the gun of a suspected terrorist or individual who may imminently perpetrate a hate crime.

  • From El Paso to the Tree of Life Synagogue, and from Poway to Mother Emanuel Church, one thing is clear: Guns are the weapon of choice for domestic terrorists and perpetrators of hate crimes. Indeed, in an average year, over 10,300 hate crimes in America involve a gun—more than 28 each day.
  • Whether it’s violent racist threats or anti-immigrant manifestos, signs of impending violence are often evident before tragedy strikes. According to one study, 42% of mass shooters exhibit concerning behavior before their crimes.
  • To disarm domestic terrorists and hate crime perpetrators before they are able to carry out their attacks, Harris will empower courts to issue new Domestic Terrorism Prevention Orders. When passed into law, this new tool will allow certain individuals, including law enforcement officers and family members, to petition a federal court to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns if they exhibit clear evidence of dangerousness.

Take executive action to close the online gun sales loophole by requiring platforms like ArmsList.com to perform background checks.

  • An estimated 1 in 5 gun purchases in America occur without a background check. In part, these dangerous sales go through because the federal government does not consider online gun markets “in the business” of selling firearms. As a result of this loophole, gun sales through websites like ArmsList.com are often not required to conduct background checks under federal law, and guns are sold with no questions asked in the 30 states without universal background checks.
  • This is how dangerous people buy guns: Last year alone, over 1 million firearm ads were posted on ArmsList for gun sales that would not require a background check. In America, loaded guns should not be a few clicks away for any domestic terrorist with a laptop.
  • If Congress fails to pass universal background check legislation within her first 100 days as president, Harris will take executive action to require websites like ArmsList.com to conduct background checks by clarifying that “dealing in firearms” can mean facilitating private gun sales online for profit.

Immediately direct the National Counterterrorism Center to address the threat of global white-nationalist terrorism, and seek authority to include domestic terrorism in its mission.

  • The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is responsible for analyzing and integrating all terror-related intelligence. They have unique expertise and access to government-wide datasets, intelligence reporting, and operational information, as well as a deep understanding of the process of radicalization. Yet, NCTC is currently prohibited by Congress from handling domestic terrorism cases.
  • The rise of white nationalist extremist violence in America is a terrorism threat, and Harris will treat it as such. As president, Harris will instruct NCTC to devote more resources to analyzing and preventing global white nationalist terrorism, and she will seek authority from Congress to expand NCTC’s mission to include domestic terrorism. This will allow NCTC to work alongside other federal agencies and bring its unique capabilities to the effort to combat domestic terrorism.
  • As NCTC expands its purview, it will take steps to increase transparency and accountability. For example, the Intelligence Community Inspector General will commission a report on the scope of NCTC’s work, their compliance with privacy and civil rights laws, and the demographic makeup of individuals in their terrorist watchlist database.

Reverse President Trump’s dangerous efforts to deprioritize countering white supremacy and commit $2 billion to investigate, disrupt, and prosecute domestic terrorists. 

  • President Trump has shifted resources away from countering violent white supremacists, “rebuffed” efforts to highlight domestic terrorism in the government’s National Counterterrorism Strategy, and disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Unlike President Trump, Harris will work to keep Americans safe from domestic terrorists. In particular, Harris will:
    • Prioritize domestic terrorism investigations. As part of these efforts, Harris will create new working groups within DHS, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism – and properly align resources with the actual threats we face.
    • More vigilantly monitor white nationalist websites and forums that serve as extremist echo chambers. Harris will make it a priority for the FBI to more vigilantly monitor white nationalist websites and forums – consistent with well-established legal requirements and civil liberties protections – where extremists discuss and encourage violent acts. This will put pressure on online platforms to take down content that violates their terms and conditions. It will also enable the FBI to identify and penetrate extremist networks and seek Domestic Terrorism Prevention Orders to preempt terrorist attacks.
    • Commit $2 billion over ten years to these efforts and other programs that counter violence tied to hate-based ideologies. Harris will overhaul our commitment to efforts and programs that counter hate-based violence. In 2016, the Homeland Security Advisory Council unanimously recommended a commitment of $100 million annually to such efforts, and the threat from domestic extremism has rapidly grown over the subsequent years. That’s why Harris will commit $2 billion over ten years to these efforts and ensure they properly align with the extremist threats we face.