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Rhode Island: Registration and Gun Tax Bill Would Dismantle Gun Ownership in Rhode Island

Friday, February 22, 2013

Legislation introduced in Providence last week represents one of the strongest attacks on the Second Amendment in Rhode Island in years.   House Bill 5573, sponsored by representatives Linda Finn (D-72), Edith Ajello (D-1), Maria Cimini (D-7), and Christopher Blazejewski (D-2), would require all firearms in the state of Rhode Island to be registered – both pistols and long guns.  Current law specifically prohibits the keeping of such a list, and this legislation would directly overturn that law.  Criminals do not use registered guns, and this bill would do nothing to address crime or public safety.  Registration is a dangerous and costly practice that has proven to be a failure in other states and countries.    

The bill would also require fingerprinting, and incredibly, gun owners would be required to pay a $100 fee for each gun registration!  This amounts to a tax on a constitutional right.  And because registration schemes typically cost much more than proponents claim, those fees will undoubtedly increase significantly.  Failure to comply would result in a prison term up to 3 years and a fine up to $3,000.  HB 5573 also requires that sold guns be “equipped with a safety device designed to prevent the unintended discharge or discharge by unauthorized users.”  This vague requirement would put dangerous obstacles in the way of self-defense.  

Under current law, if a NICS check fails to disqualify someone after 30 days, the transaction is approved.  HB 5573 would completely reverse that and block the sale. 

This bill represents one of the most egregious assaults on the Second Amendment that we have seen in Rhode Island in years.  The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but has not been scheduled for a hearing. 

Your immediate action is required.  Please contact your legislators and let them know that you oppose this outright assault on your Second Amendment rights.

Please Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and strongly urge them to Oppose HB 5573.

Contact information for the members of the House Judiciary Committee is below:

Representative Edith H. Ajello Chairperson


Representative Joseph S. Almeida                                                             




Representative Christopher R. Blazejewski                                            



Representative Doreen Marie Costa                                                         



Representative Robert E. Craven, Sr.                                                        



Representative John J. DeSimone Vice Chairperson                            



Representative Donald J. Lally Jr.                                                                



Representative Charlene Lima                                                                     



Representative Michael J. Marcello                                                            



Representative Peter F. Martin Secretary     



Representative J. Patrick O'Neill                                                                  



Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi                                                          



Representative Donna M. Walsh                                                                 





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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.