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Rhode Island: Annual Gun Control Bill Reappears

Friday, February 8, 2013

Legislation Would Target Youth Shooters for Prosecution

A bill targeting youth possession of firearms that would have unintended consequences has been introduced again this year in the Rhode Island Legislature.  Although designed to combat gang violence, this legislation -- introduced annually -- would put youth hunters and target shooters in jeopardy of prosecution.  House Bill 5208 by state representatives Grace Diaz (D-11), Scott Slater (D-10), Edith Ajello (D-1), Maria Cimini (D-7) and Larry Valencia (D-39) would strike the words “and use” from state law, making it easier to prosecute youth who are in possession of firearms.  Under current Rhode Island law, it is already illegal for minors to “possess and use” firearms.  Current law provides a number of additional provisions to prosecute criminals, and this seemingly innocuous change to state law would do nothing but penalize honest kids.  This proposed bill defines an adult as someone who is 21 years of age.

Despite having some narrowly defined exemptions, this is harmful and unnecessary legislation and it has failed to clear committee for the last several years.  However, the City of Providence continues to push their one-size-fits-all approach on the rest of the state.  There has been increased pressure to pass gun control in states across the country this year -- gun owners must be vigilant and make their voices heard before it is too late.

HB 5208 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but it has not been scheduled for a hearing yet.  Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and respectfully ask them to oppose HB 5208.  Please stay tuned to NRA-ILA alerts for further updates on this and other firearm-related legislation.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee:

 

Representative Edith H. Ajello

rep-ajello@rilin.state.ri.us

  

Representative Joseph S. Almeida

rep-almeida@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)467-7033

  

Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski

rep-blazejewski@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)484-8814

 

Representative Doreen Marie Costa

rep-costa@rilin.state.ri.us

 (401)206-6891

 

Representative Robert E. Craven, Sr.

rep-craven@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)294-2222

  

Representative John J. DeSimone

rep-desimone@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)454-1400

  

Representative Donald J. Lally Jr.

rep-lally@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)792-9090

 

  

Representative Charlene Lima

rep-lima@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)946-5707

  

Representative Michael J. Marcello

rep-marcello@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)647-5905

  

Representative Peter F. Martin

rep-martin@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)924-2404

  

Representative J. Patrick O'Neill

rep-oneill@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)475-0265

  

Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi

rep-shekarchi@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)827-0100

  

Representative Donna M. Walsh

rep-walsh@rilin.state.ri.us

(401)364-6433

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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.