Gun Owners Victorious Again in 2014
Late last week, state lawmakers in Providence adjourned their 2014 legislative session. The NRA and gun rights activists spent many nights at the Statehouse during the last six months, testifying against dozens of gun control bills. Most of those packed hearings stretched into the early morning hours and demonstrated the passion of Second Amendment supporters who lined the halls of the state Capitol and were persistent in having their voices heard. Gun owners patiently waited in line all evening to give their two-minute testimony against the damaging bills.
Ultimately, anti-gun legislators, led by state Representatives Linda Finn (D-72), and Teresa Tanzi (D-34), failed to pass a single gun control bill out of committee. Dozens of anti-gun bills were defeated, which included a ten percent sales tax on all gun and ammunition purchases, a semi-auto “assault weapon” ban, a ban on all magazines containing more than ten rounds and an attempt to end Rhode Island “shall issue” carry permits.
These anti-gun bills, which were met by widespread bi-partisan criticism, demonstrate that the narrow political agenda of anti-gun legislators was too extreme for both the public and political leaders. While their sponsors were aggressively pushing bills to attack lawful gun owners, they once again ignored the crime and gang problem in Providence.
Also last Friday, the state Senate passed House Bill 7939A and it will now go to Governor Lincoln Chaffee (I) for his consideration. H.7939A would require an adjudication or involuntary commitment before someone’s firearm rights are suspended, and that this information which prohibits someone from possessing a firearm under federal law be reported to the FBI for use in NICS. This legislation also provides a rights restoration process and sets up a board to handle that process. This bill was the product of the Joint Behavioral Health and Firearms Safety Task Force that was created by state legislation approved last session.
The NRA thanks its members who spent evenings in the state Capitol engaged in the fight for freedom in the Ocean State. Also, thank you to those who took your valuable time to call and write your state legislators and committee members. Those calls and e-mails made a difference! Despite the success that NRA members achieved this session, the last couple years have proven that the anti-gun zealots in the Rhode Island General Assembly are persistent and won’t be deterred. If re-elected they can be fully expected to resume their onslaught again next January.