New RI Leadership Could End Gun Control Efforts on Smith Hill

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

Renewed efforts to pass significant gun control in Rhode Island may be on life support…despite significant support in one of the nation's most liberal states.

“I think we ought to try to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people and probably eliminate the military style assault weapons,” SAID Bob Booth, a gun control supporter.

“Access to guns in the community is not really a good idea. So there definitely should be regulation,” said Collins Cheruiyot.

But changes in the state house leadership may doom several gun control bills now under consideration.

New house speaker Nick Mattiello and new Judiciary Chairmen Cale Keable, have grades of “A” or better from the National Rifle Association.

And republican Doreen Costa…was named vice–chair of the Judiciary Committee.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “Committee chairs and Vice–chairs can have some influence on the Speaker as to whether any bill – gun control or otherwise – get's to the House floor for a vote.”

Doreen Costa says there was no “deal” between here and the new speaker, to give her a leadership role.

'You know, have the Republicans be viable here. And be relevant, and I said all six of us should have a say in what goes on and he said, 'I promised bipartisanship' and obviously he has,” said State Rep. Doreen Costa, (R) Vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

But as a practical matter, the gun control bills may be dead for this year:

“I am still firmly a pro second amendment, and I am still a Republican and I will continue to vote the way I always have,” Rep. Costa said.

Most efforts to pass gun control also failed last year.