"In the Crossfire" - Gun Control Debate in Rhode Island - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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"In the Crossfire" - Gun Control Debate in Rhode Island

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 

mcurtis@abc6.com

Weapons such as an AR-15 rifle, and others like it could soon be banned in Rhode Island, if some in the state senate have their way.

State Sen. Donna Nesselbush (D) Rhode Island says, "Obviously in the wake of the Newtown shootings, the Senate and the House are looking for ways to try to curb gun violence."

But so far in the aftermath of Newtown, other recent shootings, gun control efforts in Congress have stalled:

David Kenik is a nationally known gun owner's rights advocate who lives in Rhode Island.

He says some weapons can simply be moved from a legal stock, to an outlawed stock, or vice versa.

David Kenik says, "Same capacity, same capability, same projectile. (Q: So what effect do these bans have if they are enacted?) On crime? Absolutely nothing. It's nothing more than a feel good measure."

The senate is now considering nine gun control measures.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Now some of the testimony before lawmakers will becoming via You Tube video, that's because some of the weapons we've been showing you, are not allowed inside the State House."

Gun rights advocates will show lawmakers what they showed ABC6 News - that by changing a telescoping stock; or removing a pistol grip; or a flash compensator on the barrel - some outlawed weapons can be made perfectly legal again,  and just as deadly.

Gun rights advocate David Kenik says,

"This weapon does not have a pistol grip; does not have a collapsible telescoping stock; same exact cartridge. This would not be banned. (Q: And with a legal rifle like this, you could create the same kind of carnage as Newtown?) Unfortunately so. "

And so we asked the bill's sponsor, if this weapons ban might be toothless.

State Sen. Joshua Miller says, "Any progress toward protecting citizens is important progress based on the gun violence of the past several years. (Q: Even if there's loopholes that will allow people to get around it?) We have to start somewhere. This is a starting point."

So far the General Assembly has taken testimony on gun control, but no votes have been cast.

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