On Tuesday, March 22, the House Judiciary Committee will have a full slate of Second Amendment legislation on the agenda. The hearing will take place in Room 101 of the Statehouse upon rise of the House. The committee meeting will feature both pro-gun and anti-gun bills, with over a dozen gun-related bills on the schedule.
Topping the agenda will be a handful of bills that we have seen introduced and failed in previous years. H.7199, sponsored by state Representatives J. Aaron Regunberg (D-4), Lauren H. Carson (D-75), Edith H. Ajello (D-1), Arthur Handy (D-18) and Joseph S. Almeida (D-12), would create a magazine capacity restriction in Rhode Island, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds. The bill would cover sale, possession, manufacture, import or transfer. Magazine bans fail because criminals, by definition, do not follow the law. This harmful piece of legislation will only impact honest, law-abiding gun owners and will put them at a disadvantage in self-defense situations.
There are also bills which would strike a blow to the state’s carry laws. H.7243 would remove the exception in state law which allows licensed, concealed carry permit holders to carry on school property. This has been the law and allowed for years with no problems. As we have unfortunately come to realize, creating “gun free zones" does nothing more than give criminals soft targets. H.7850, sponsored by Reps. Grace Diaz (D-11), K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-23), Shelby Maldonando (D-56), and Joseph S. Almeida, “makes it unlawful to carry a rifle or shotgun in a vehicle or one’s person, visible or concealed, except at one’s residence, place of business or land.”
Despite having strong state and federal laws addressing domestic violence already, national anti-gun groups are pushing these bills across the country, regardless of what laws a state already has on the books. One particularly bad bill, H.7283, sponsored by state Representatives Gregg Amore (D-65), John J. Lombardi (D-8), Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-2), Edith H. Ajello, and J. Aaron Regunberg, goes so far as taking misdemeanor offenses and turning them into a lifetime gun ban.
In addition to these bad bills, several pro-gun bills have also been introduced and need your support
H.7541, sponsored by state Representatives Robert A. Nardolillo (R-28), Michael W. Chippendale (R-40), Justin Price (R-39) and Sherry Roberts (R-29) would expand concealed carry reciprocity with Connecticut, Massachusetts or any other state which has a live fire training component. H.7093, sponsored by state Representatives Deborah A. Fellala (D-43), John M. Carnevale (D-13), Doreen M. Costa (R-31) and Stephen R. Ucci (D-42) provides for the automatic renewal of a gun permit or license. And finally, H.7390, sponsored by state Representatives Charlene M. Lima (D-14), Arthur J. Corvese (D-55), John M. Carnevale, Michael W. Chippendale and Doreen M. Costa, would provide for timely review of Attorney General issued permits and create a review process.
For a complete list of bills on the agenda, click here. Please contact members of the House Judiciary Committee and respectfully urge them to defeat the anti-gun bills detailed above. In addition, please request that they support the modest pro-gun reforms being sought by law-abiding gun owners. This hearing presents a real opportunity to turn back anti-gun groups who annually attack the rights of Second Amendment supporters at the Statehouse. If you are able, please try to attend the hearing and contact committee members in opposition to anti-gun legislation. You can find contact information for the House Judiciary Committee here.