Text: H.R.3525 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 104-155 (07/03/1996)

 
[104th Congress Public Law 155]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ155.104]


[[Page 1391]]

                   CHURCH ARSON PREVENTION ACT OF 1996

[[Page 110 STAT. 1392]]

Public Law 104-155
104th Congress

                                 An Act


 
     To amend title 18, United States Code, to clarify the Federal 
       jurisdiction over offenses relating to damage to religious 
            property. <<NOTE: July 3, 1996 -  [H.R. 3525]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in <<NOTE: Church Arson Prevention Act of 
1996.>> Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 18 USC 241 note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Church Arson Prevention Act of 
1996''.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 18 USC 247 note.>>  FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The incidence of arson or other destruction or vandalism 
        of places of religious worship, and the incidence of violent 
        interference with an individual's lawful exercise or attempted 
        exercise of the right of religious freedom at a place of 
        religious worship pose a serious national problem.
            (2) The incidence of arson of places of religious worship 
        has recently increased, especially in the context of places of 
        religious worship that serve predominantly African-American 
        congregations.
            (3) Changes in Federal law are necessary to deal properly 
        with this problem.
            (4) Although local jurisdictions have attempted to respond 
        to the challenges posed by such acts of destruction or damage to 
        religious property, the problem is sufficiently serious, 
        widespread, and interstate in scope to warrant Federal 
        intervention to assist State and local jurisdictions.
            (5) Congress has authority, pursuant to the Commerce Clause 
        of the Constitution, to make acts of destruction or damage to 
        religious property a violation of Federal law.
            (6) Congress has authority, pursuant to section 2 of the 
        13th amendment to the Constitution, to make actions of private 
        citizens motivated by race, color, or ethnicity that interfere 
        with the ability of citizens to hold or use religious property 
        without fear of attack, violations of Federal criminal law.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION OF VIOLENT INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS WORSHIP.

    Section 247 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``subsection (c) of this 
        section'' and inserting ``subsection (d)'';
            (2) by redesignating subsections (c), (d), and (e), as 
        subsections (d), (e), and (f), respectively;
            (3) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

[[Page 110 STAT. 1393]]

    ``(b) The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the 
offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce.
    ``(c) Whoever intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any 
religious real property because of the race, color, or ethnic 
characteristics of any individual associated with that religious 
property, or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in 
subsection (d).'';
            (4) in subsection (d), as redesignated--
                    (A) in paragraph (2)--
                          (i) by inserting ``to any person, including 
                      any public safety officer performing duties as a 
                      direct or proximate result of conduct prohibited 
                      by this section,'' after ``bodily injury''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``ten years'' and inserting 
                      ``20 years'';
                    (B) by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as 
                paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively;
                    (C) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:
            ``(2) if bodily injury results to any person, including any 
        public safety officer performing duties as a direct or proximate 
        result of conduct prohibited by this section, and the violation 
        is by means of fire or an explosive, a fine under this title or 
        imprisonment for not more that 40 years, or both;'';
            (5) in subsection (f), as redesignated--
                    (A) by striking ``religious property'' and inserting 
                ``religious real property'' both places it appears; and
                    (B) by inserting ``, including fixtures or religious 
                objects contained within a place of religious worship'' 
                before the period; and
            (6) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ``(g) No person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any 
noncapital offense under this section unless the indictment is found or 
the information is instituted not later than 7 years after the date on 
which the offense was committed.''.

SEC. 4. LOAN GUARANTEE RECOVERY FUND.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  In general.--Using amounts 
        described in paragraph (2), the Secretary of Housing and Urban 
        Development (referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall make 
        guaranteed loans to financial institutions in connection with 
        loans made by such institutions to assist organizations 
        described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
        1986 that have been damaged as a result of acts of arson or 
        terrorism in accordance with such procedures as the Secretary 
        shall establish by regulation.
            (2) Use of credit subsidy.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of law, for the cost of loan guarantees under this 
        section, the Secretary may use not more than $5,000,000 of the 
        amounts made available for fiscal year 1996 for the credit 
        subsidy provided under the General Insurance Fund and the 
        Special Risk Insurance Fund.

    (b) Treatment of Costs.--The costs of guaranteed loans under this 
section, including the cost of modifying loans, shall be as defined in 
section 502 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    (c) Limit on Loan Principal.--Funds made available under this 
section shall be available to subsidize total loan principal, any part 
of which is to be guaranteed, not to exceed $10,000,000.
    (d) Terms and Conditions.--The Secretary shall--

[[Page 110 STAT. 1394]]

            (1) establish such terms and conditions as the Secretary 
        considers to be appropriate to provide loan guarantees under 
        this section, consistent with section 503 of the Credit Reform 
        Act; and
            (2) include in the terms and conditions a requirement that 
        the decision to provide a loan guarantee to a financial 
        institution and the amount of the guarantee does not in any way 
        depend on the purpose, function, or identity of the organization 
        to which the financial institution has made, or intends to make, 
        a loan.

SEC. 5. COMPENSATION OF VICTIMS; REQUIREMENT OF INCLUSION IN LIST OF 
            CRIMES ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION.

    Section 1403(d)(3) of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 
10602(d)(3)) is amended by inserting ``crimes, whose victims suffer 
death or personal injury, that are described in section 247 of title 18, 
United States Code,'' after ``includes''.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION FOR ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL TO ASSIST STATE AND LOCAL 
            LAW ENFORCEMENT.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of the 
Treasury and the Department of Justice, including the Community 
Relations Service, in fiscal years 1996 and 1997 such sums as are 
necessary to increase the number of personnel, investigators, and 
technical support personnel to investigate, prevent, and respond to 
potential violations of sections 247 and 844 of title 18, United States 
Code.

SEC. 7. REAUTHORIZATION OF HATE CRIMES STATISTICS ACT.

    The first section of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. 534 
note) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b), by striking ``for the calendar year 
        1990 and each of the succeeding 4 calendar years'' and inserting 
        ``for each calendar year''; and
            (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``1994'' and inserting 
        ``2002''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 1395]]

SEC. 8. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    The Congress--
            (1) commends those individuals and entities that have 
        responded with funds to assist in the rebuilding of places of 
        worship that have been victimized by arson; and
            (2) encourages the private sector to continue these efforts 
        so that places of worship that are victimized by arson, and 
        their affected communities, can continue the rebuilding process 
        with maximum financial support from private individuals, 
        businesses, charitable organizations, and other non-profit 
        entities.

    Approved July 3, 1996.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 3525 (S. 1890):
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HOUSE REPORTS: No. 104-621 (Comm. on the Judiciary).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 142 (1996):
            June 18, considered and passed House.
            June 26, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            June 27, House concurred in Senate amendment.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 32 (1996):
            July 3, Presidential statement.

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