Gun control debate continues at State House

By: Amanda Pitts


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Senate heard testimony Tuesday night at the State House on several gun control bills.

Two weeks ago, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on the legislation and there was a huge turnout. Lines full of people against the bills stretched out of the capitol building and out to the street.

The bills, backed by Governor Gina Raimondo, Attorney General Peter Neronha and Col. James Manni, include an assault weapons ban and a bill that would allow only for an officer to carry a weapon on school grounds.

On Tuesday, while the turnout wasn’t quite as big as it was on March 19, there was still a sea of yellow shirts, the shirts of the Second Amendment Coalition.

“If we don’t show there is opposition in supporting the Second Amendment, they’ll just keep chipping away and chipping away at it. People really need to have the right to be able to protect themselves and support the Second Amendment. If they want to pass some of these laws, they need to go after the criminals, not us law-abiding citizens,” said Frank Saccoccio of the Second Amendment Coalition.

The Second Amendment Coalition does support one bill, S597, which would amend the definition of firearms to include tasers.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence and Moms Demand Action also showed up in full force at the State House, planning to testify in favor of the bills.

“We’re not asking them to hand in guns, we’re asking them to agree and support sensible gun laws that’s all it is,” said Nan Heroux of the Coalition Against Gun Violence.

A list of the bills being heard Tuesday can be found here.

(c) WLNE-TV 2019