Rally for Rhode Island gun reform bills urges General Assembly to act ‘immediately’

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — State leaders, bill sponsors, and anti-gun violence advocates united at the State House for a rally Tuesday afternoon, demanding swift action from the General Assembly. 

This rally comes one week after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

There are currently five bills in the State House, all of which hope to limit gun possession in Rhode Island. 

2022-H 6614 — Would prohibit the sale and possession of high-capacity magazines. 

2022-H 7358 — Would generally prohibit people from openly carrying loaded rifles and shotguns on public roads and highways. 

2022-H 7300 — Would require gun owners to securely store their firearms when not under their immediate control. 

2022-H 6615 — Would prohibit the future sale and possession of assault weapons while providing a path for current owners of assault weapons to keep them. 

2022-H 7457 — Would raise the age to purchase rifles and shotguns to 21. 

“People are dying in the country, in Rhode Island, and we need to do more,” said Sydney Monstream-Quas, chair of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence. “Our legislators have the power to do that. They could vote, but they need to determine when to vote. They could vote this week!” 

Legislators at the rally echoed hopes to pass the bills this session, which has about a month left. 

“We need the General assembly to do their part, so I can do my part and sign these bills,” said Gov. Dan McKee. 

“There has been a lot of gun legislation in this state, and what we haven’t done is protected and fortified our schools. Why can’t we audit our schools where we go and see the deficiencies?” Republican state Sen. Jessica de la Cruz explained to ABC 6 News Tuesday, 

De la Cruz believes preventing gun violence begins with increased security. 

“Airports used to be soft targets and we had planes fly into buildings. Now, they’re not soft targets because we put appropriate safety measures in place. Schools are a soft target as well, and we must do everything we can to protect our children,” she concluded. 

House Speaker Joe Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio sent a joint statement to ABC 6 saying, “We are committed to passing meaningful gun reform legislation this session. We have been working on this issue with the sponsors and committee chairs for several months.” 

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island