There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (06/19/1996)

Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996 - Makes Federal criminal code prohibitions against, and penalties for, damaging religious property or obstructing any person's free exercise of religious beliefs applicable where: (1) the property is damaged because of its racial or ethnic character; and (2) the offense is in, or affects, interstate commerce. (Currently such provisions apply only where: (1) the property is damaged because of its religious character; (2) the defendant, in committing the offense, travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses a facility or instrumentality of interstate or foreign commerce in interstate or foreign commerce; and (3) the loss exceeds $10,000.)

Prohibits intentionally defacing, damaging, or destroying religious real property (or attempting to do so) because of the race, color, religious, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with such property.

Increases penalties for violations of such provisions where bodily injury results or where such acts include the use, or attempted or threatened use, of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire.

Includes within the definition of "religious property" fixtures or religious objects contained within a place of religious worship.

Sets a seven-year statute of limitation for the prosecution, trial, or punishment of a person for any noncapital offense under such provisions.

Authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to use up to $5 million of the credit subsidy provided under the General and Special Risk Insurance Fund for guaranteed loans to financial institutions in connection with loans made to assist certain tax exempt religious or other organizations that have been damaged by arson or terrorism.

Authorizes appropriations to the Departments of the Treasury and Justice, including the Community Relations Service, to increase personnel to investigate, prevent, and respond to potential violations of this Act and Federal explosives prohibitions.

Reauthorizes the Hate Crimes Statistics Act.

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. Encourages the private sector to continue such efforts.