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Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee to Hear Anti-Gun Legislation

Friday, April 29, 2011

On Tuesday, May 3, anti-gun Senate Bill 831 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Sponsored by state Senator Harold M. Metts (D-6), S 831 would make it illegal for a minor to simply possess a firearm or ammunition, whether intentional or otherwise.

While this legislation appears to make only a slight change in current law, it could have grave ramifications for those prosecuted under it.  Currently, a youth is not in violation unless he possessed AND USED a firearm or ammunition.  If this legislation was enacted into law, a minor could be prosecuted for possession of a firearm or ammunition if borrowing a parent’s vehicle and pulled over with a firearm or ammo in that vehicle.  The law does not distinguish actual intent over a simple accident or misunderstanding.  The “use” of a firearm under the original law clearly signaled intent, but by removing it, minors can be unjustly prosecuted for something as simple as a stray shotgun shell found under the seat of their parent’s car.  This legislation is a perfect example of an anti-gun bill that would do nothing to prevent crime and only put another poorly defined and unnecessary law on the books.  

Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to oppose S 831.  Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.