The Fire Marshal was on hand at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon as NRA members and Ocean State gun owners rallied to oppose the latest wave of gun control bills. As previously reported, almost two dozen gun bills were on the agenda in the House Judiciary Committee late Tuesday. The hearing stretched late into the evening, and all of the bills were "held for further study."
The debate included five bills which would raise the purchase age for rifles and shotguns to 21. Multiple bills were introduced which would restrict magazines to a capacity of no more than 10 rounds and ban commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. There were other hotly contested bills which included legislation to end state firearm preemption (H.7762) and prohibit concealed carry in K-12 schools by anyone other than law enforcement (H.7591). Current law already allows concealed carry on school property, and there have been no incidents which would indicate there is a problem with current law. Several witnesses testified that this is a solution in search of a problem. This bill is simply an anti-gun bill trying to create yet another failed "gun free zone."
Although the bills were "held for further study" they are very much alive until session ends near the end of June. NRA-ILA and our state association, the Rhode Island Second Amendment Coalition, joined many others in testifying against the full slate of gun bills Tuesday night.
We would like to thank all of our members who made the trip to the Statehouse to defend the Second Amendment. These capacity crowds should be giving lawmakers pause as anti-gun legislation has been bringing out throngs of Rhode Islanders in opposition, severely outnumbering the opposition. Please continue to contact House members and respectfully insist that they oppose any new gun control laws.