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Rhode Island: Several Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee This Week

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rhode Island: Several Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee This Week

This week, lawmakers will consider a package of gun control bills in Providence.  Much of this legislation has been introduced in previous years but has failed to pass.  Anti-gun legislators are determined to keep pushing these bills, and it’s vital that Rhode Island gun owners continue to fight back.  NRA members and gun rights supporters should try to attend these hearings to show solidarity against this assault on the Second Amendment.  If you are unable to attend, please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee immediately and respectfully ask them to oppose the following bills:

Tomorrow, April 14, the House Judiciary Committee will meet upon rise of the House in Room 101 of the Capitol.  They will hear:

House Bill 5119, sponsored by state Representative Williams (D-9), seeks to expand the list of persons prohibited from carrying/transporting firearms by including individuals with misdemeanor convictions.  This inclusion exceeds federal law.  The NRA does not support the expansion of prohibited persons over federal law.

House Bill 5655, sponsored by state Representatives Teresa Tanzi (D-34), Marvin Abney (D-73), David Bennett (D-20), Kathleen Fogarty (D-35) and Edith Ajello (D-1) would prevent anyone with a domestic violence misdemeanor or restraining order from possessing a firearm.  The bill exceeds federal law and removes discretion from judges.  While these anti-gun sponsors are camouflaging this issue as domestic violence prevention, it’s simply about expanding the disqualifier statute so broad that it is easy to take someone’s firearms.  This is the House companion bill to Senate Bill 503, which was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will again meet upon rise of the House in the House Lounge.  The committee will take testimony on the following legislation:

House Bill 5123, also sponsored by Rep. Williams, restricts youth possession of firearms.  This bill would stand in contradiction to the law allowing youth to hunt by themselves.  While this is billed as legislation to address gang violence, it will do nothing except harm young hunters, sportsmen, and competitive shooters.

Similarly, House Bill 5868, sponsored by state Representatives Grace Diaz (D-11), Scott Slater (D-10), Edith Ajello, Shelby Maldonado (D-56) and Joseph Almeida (D-12) criminalizes the possession of a firearm by a minor.  This bill has been introduced at the behest of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office.  It has been consecutively introduced for nearly 10 years. 

House Bill 5660, sponsored by state Representatives Arthur Handy (D-18), Thomas Palangio (D-3), Patricia Serpa (D-27) and Kathleen Forgarty would ban the transfer of ivory.  Ivory is used in pistol grips, firearm inlays and sights, as well as musical instruments, antiques, artwork and furniture.  This legislation would render valuable personal property worthless.   While the NRA completely abhors poaching, this legislation will have zero impact on the poaching of elephants in Africa.

House Bill 5861, sponsored by state Representatives Edith Ajello, Teresa Tanzi, Robert Craven (D-32), Gregg Amore (D-65) and Christopher Blazejewksi (D-2) repeals an exemption for certain permit holders and retired law enforcement from carrying on school grounds.  It is the one thing which keeps schools from being a complete gun free zone, which allow criminals to prey on innocent people with impunity.

Despite the anti-gun bills to be heard, there is a pro-gun bill up for consideration.  House Bill 5190, sponsored by state Representatives Deborah Fellela (D-43), John Carnevale (D-13), Stephen Casey (D-50), Stephen Ucci (D-42) and Raymond Hull (D-6) would allow for automatic renewals of pistol permits.

Please contact members of the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee and urge them to SUPPORT House Bill 5190 and to OPPOSE H.5119, H.5655, H.5123, H.5868, H.5660 and H.5861.  Contact information for committee members can be found here.

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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.