More RI students pushing for gun control following school shootings

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – More students in Rhode Island are getting involved in the fight for gun control following recent school shootings.

Around a dozen students lobbied lawmakers at the state house Tuesday evening for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV).

"We don’t want a tragedy to happen,” said Toll Gate High School Senior Grace Reed. “We don’t want to have to reference one of our Rhode Island schools when we’re talking about these shootings."

RICAGV has seen a spike in student involvement since the Parkland school shooting, according to Communications Director Kat Kerwin.

With the recent massacre in Santa Fe, Texas, Reed says the time for stricter gun control is now. "It’s more reason for these laws to be passed,” she said.

But that’s not how gun supporters see it, including in Texas, even with the recent school shooting. "It’s not about one law, it’s not about guns, it’s about everything that we need to do that impacts these issues,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told CNN. “It’s about mental health."

The bills Reed is lobbying – an assault weapons ban and a gun ban on school property (including concealed carry permit holders) – have been held for further study. But she’s not giving up.

"You can’t just throw your hands up and say: ‘it’s complicated, therefore we don’t do anything,’" said Reed.

Meanwhile, Republican state lawmakers maintain stricter gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens, who are not the problem.

© WLNE-TV 2018