This week, law-abiding gun owners were in the crosshairs of anti-gun lawmakers in Providence. Several pieces of legislation were introduced that would turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals. This assault on your Second Amendment rights is a continuation of last year’s anti-gun agenda, with even more outrageous bills introduced. Of the state legislation introduced, the most egregious anti-gun bills include:
Senate Bill 2318, sponsored by state Senators Gayle Goldin (D-3), Harold Metts (D-6), Daniel DaPonte (D-14), Juan Pichardo (D-2) and Josh Miller (D-28), would impose a ten percent “supplemental tax” on firearms and ammunition. The revenues would be taken from gun owners and distributed to “nonprofit organizations whose mission includes a commitment to the reduction of crime and violence.” In others words, they want to tax law-abiding gun owners and give the money to anti-gun groups such as the Brady Campaign which purports to reduce crime and violence while it only targets lawful gun owners and one's right to self-defense! This outrageous bill must be stopped.
House Bill 7583, sponsored by state Representative Joseph Almeida (D-12), would ban the manufacture, sale, possession and transfer of semi-automatic “assault weapons.” This is a gun ban and confiscation scheme that mirrors those adopted last year in New York and Connecticut. It is even called the SAFE Firearms Act, which is what New York called their disastrous bill which has proven unworkable, unenforceable, and has had portions invalidated in a federal District Court. H.7583 also prohibits manufacturing, which means companies would be forced to take their operations out-of-state, taking good paying jobs that Rhode Island desperately needs.
House Bill 7585, also sponsored by Representative Almeida, would create a ten-round magazine limit and prohibit the possession of magazines exceeding ten rounds, making it punishable as a felony. These magazines are in common use by law-abiding citizens, and this legislation would represent the largest confiscation scheme in state history. This is not just a magazine ban, it would also ban certain popular .22 caliber rifles!
House Bill 7587, sponsored by state Representatives Linda Finn (D-72), Chris Blazejewski (D-2), Joseph Almeida, Arthur Handy (D-18) and Edith Ajello (D-1), attacks concealed carry in Rhode Island. H.7587 would change the local law enforcement issued permits from “shall” issue to “may” issue, meaning local officials could virtually end concealed carry in the state.
House Bill 7310, sponsored by state Representatives Gregg Amore (D-65), Katherine Kazarian (D-63), Chris Blazejewski (D-2), Larry Valencia (D-39) and Linda Finn (D-72), would prohibit persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from owning firearms. This bill is flawed because it lowers the bar to misdemeanor offenses. Current law already prohibits convicted felons from owning firearms.
These bills are nearly identical bills to those that stalled in the state Legislature last year, however, anti-gun lawmakers relentlessly continue to focus on law-abiding citizens rather than target criminals. As a result, cities like Providence continue to suffer under the scourge of crime.
No committee hearings have been scheduled, but these bills have been assigned to the Judiciary Committees in their respective chambers. Please continue to follow NRA-ILA alerts for updated hearing schedules. It is important that you contact your state Representative and Senator immediately and respectfully urge them to focus on criminals instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners in Rhode Island!