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Rhode Island: Gun Control Package Unveiled

Friday, April 12, 2013

Contact your state legislators in opposition to these attacks on law-abiding Rhode Islanders

This week, Governor Lincoln Chaffee (I), Attorney General Peter Kilmartin (D), Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed (D-13) and House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-4) announced the introduction of a package of gun control bills in the Rhode Island General Assembly.

While some of these bills examine mental health issues through the creation of a task force, this package contains one of the most drastic assaults on the Second Amendment that Rhode Island has seen.  Rhode Island already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.  According to the Brady Campaign’s 2011 rankings, the Ocean State notched the 8th highest position, with only seven states boasting more gun control laws.  Some elected officials seem determined to pass misguided laws that do nothing but further restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.  There is nothing in this proposed package of laws that would reduce violent crime or improve public safety.   Below are the bills of particular concern:

House Bill 5990/Senate Bill 859 by state Representatives Joseph Almeida (D-12), Christopher Blazejewski (D-2), Linda Finn (D-72), Elaine Coderre (D-60) and Eileen Naughton (D-21) and Senators Joshua Miller (D-28), Donna Nesselbush (D-15), Gayle Goldin (D-3) and Paul Jabour (D-5).  These companion bills impose restrictions on the manufacture, transfer and possession of certain semi-automatic “assault weapons” and ban magazines containing more than ten rounds.

House Bill 5993/Senate Bill 865 by state Representatives Larry Valencia (D-39), Edith Ajello (D-1), Arthur Handy (D-18), Linda Finn (D-72) and Mary Messier (D-62) and Senators Gayle Goldin (D-3), William Conley (D-18) and Donna Nesselbush (D-15).  These two companion bills would abolish all “shall issue” carry permits and grant the Attorney General sole issuing authority.

These anti-gun House and Senate bills have been assigned respectively to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, but at this time have not been scheduled for hearings.  The state legislature will be on Spring Break next week and will return to Providence on Tuesday, April 23.  It is clear that these misguided legislators expect outrage over their actions and have timed their announcement in an attempt to allow the opposition to subside before they attempt to move these bills through the General Assembly. 

Please call and e-mail your state Senator and Representative immediately.  On Tuesday, April 23, please contact them again when the General Assembly reconvenes.  Also, contact the Attorney General and respectfully express your opposition to House Bill 5993/Senate Bill 865.

Contact information for your state legislators can be found here.

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin:

Phone: (401) 841-8310

E-mail by clicking here.

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