All doubt has been removed as to the plans of lawmakers in Providence. They see the most recent pair of tragedies committed by heinous criminals in other states as a prime opportunity to pass bills that they have been trying to pass for years.
The House Judiciary Committee has three gun bills on the agenda for Thursday afternoon. That does not happen this late in the session without the blessing of leadership and a serious intent to pass these bills.
H.6614 by Rep. Justine Caldwell is a magazine ban. The bill is drastic with no grandfathering and forces gun owners to get rid of any magazines capable of holding over 10 rounds or become a felon and lose your firearms for life.
H.7358 by Rep. Leonela Felix defines shotguns and rifles as weapons and prevents them from being loaded in public. That is a sweeping prohibition. The bill essentially says your gun can only be loaded in your home with narrow hunting exceptions. That is a significant attack on your right to self-defense. Furthermore, the bill prohibits magazines from being loaded! That’s right, it seems as if the bill’s sponsor doesn’t realize a bullet cannot be fired from a magazine, and certainly a magazine not loaded into a firearm. This bill is conceptually flawed.
H.7457 by Rep. Teresa Tanzi increases the age from 18 to 21 for the purchase of firearms and ammunition, rendering self-defense for an entire class of legal adults impossible. The 9th Circuit Court recently struck down a similar state law on the West Coast. This issue is certain to be litigated further.
There is zero evidence that any of this will improve public safety. Lawmakers and prosecutors should address school security and prosecute criminals who break laws which are already on the books. Rhode Island has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and that is according to gun ban groups.
Your immediate action is requested! This is it Rhode Islanders. Years of going to the Statehouse come down to this moment. Now is the time to translate those huge Statehouse rally numbers into full legislator email boxes. Please contact your Senator, Representative and leadership with a simple message. Rhode Island does not need to pass any additional infringements on law-abiding guns owners. Finally, this should remain fresh in the minds of every Rhode Island gun owner in November. Hold them accountable at the ballot box!