Hundreds testify during marathon hearing on gun legislation

There were 21 bills up for hearing Monday having to do with gun control or expanding gun access.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Hundreds of people called into Monday’s Senate Judiciary hearing to give their thoughts on 21 pieces of legislation having to do with gun access.

Many of the bills, as part of a package of legislation from the Attorney General, dealt with gun control, leading to heated testimony from gun owners in the state.

“Nobody’s going to come take my guns without a war; 1776 will begin again plain and simple,” said Dan Bidondi of Cranston.

Some of the bills getting the most attention: A ban on high capacity magazines, assault weapons, and one that would make it a felony to store a gun unlocked.

Many homeowners said they fear the latter would put them in danger.

“Basically having the guns stored in that manner would cause me to not be able to really effectively use them if I needed them in an emergency situation,” said Jared Rubin of West Greenwich.

Another bill that had a lot of people weighing in, was legislation that would keep guns out of schools.

Some said they fear that would put their children in further danger. Others were pleading with the senators to consider moving the legislation to the full senate.

“I have two young children. I don’t want to fear for their lives sending them to school each day,” said a mother from Providence.

Some of the senators went back and forth with members of the public who gave certain statistics on gun violence, saying they should only be reflective of Rhode Island.

“To the pro gun senators who keep saying ‘We should only look at Rhode Island,’ that’s a great point,” said a Barrington resident. “Because in 2020, according to the FBI, Rhode Island was second only to Michigan in the massive surge in firearm background checks. Correspondingly we have had an 87 percent increase in non-suicide gun deaths.”

All of these bills are being held for further study.

Categories: News, Politics, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island