Gun Control Before RI General Assembly; Newtown Chief Testifies - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


Gun Control Before RI General Assembly; Newtown Chief Testifies

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 

Several hundreds gun rights advocates rallied outside the statehouse.

They're hoping to block legislation they feel violates their right to bear arms, but does nothing to criminals.

Second Amendment supporter Tonya Ricketts said, "We all shouldn't be punished for the actions of a few and the lawmakers need to look at the full big picture."

The legislation comes on the heels of the Shady Hook School shooting that killed 26 last December - the killer using a semi–automatic rifle, with high capacity magazines.

Rep David Cicilline (D-RI) said, "Assault weapons which are very often weapons of war, don't belong on the neighborhoods of our cities and towns."

Congressman David Cicilline supports the gun control measures, in the General Assembly.

But just last week an ABC6 News investigation found that some outlawed weapons could be modified by changing the stock and pistol grip, to make them legal, but just as lethal.

State Rep. Doreen Scanlon (R-RI) said, "That's not going to change anything, because if you take a pistol grip off, a rifle is still a rifle."

Congressman Cicilline countered by saying, "There's no perfect way to draft assault weapons ban legislation. And the notion that somehow, some people are going to work around it to violate the law is not a reason, not to do it."

Both sides gathered on Smith Hill before the committee hearing to make their case.

Aida Neary from the gun control group "Moms Demand Action" said, "We have a gun violence epidemic in this country and that we need to remember the victims. Guns are weapons."

But gun rights advocate Tonya Rickets said she uses guns legally for, "Personal defense. I do some target shooting, but I am a law abiding citizen as well."

Among those testifying on Smith Hill, the Newtown, Connecticut Police Chief.

Chief Michael Kehoe said, "Well there's a lot of things you can do. One of them is certainly looking at gun laws. We'll have to change some of those gun laws. We also have to change some of our mental health protocols. And look at our video games, and the violent media that we have."

The Newtown Chief came to endorse the gun control proposals before the Rhode Island General Assembly.


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