Gun safety advocates call on RI General Assembly to pass package of bills
PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – A rally with some of Rhode Island’s top officials in attendance was held at the state house Tuesday afternoon to discuss gun safety in Rhode Island.
Governor Dan McKee, Attorney General Peter Neronha, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner joined dozens of gun safety advocates in their calls to the state’s general assembly to pass a package of bill prioritizing gun safety.
That includes regulating assault weapons, limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds, keeping guns out of schools, and blocking open carry permits for loaded rifles and shotguns.
Nearly 200 people are shot and killed or wounded every year in Rhode Island according to The Campaign for Gun Violence Prevention Rhode Island (CGVPRI).
“All Rhode Islanders deserve to feel safe in their community that they call home. these measures will move us forward with that goal,” Gov. McKee said.
Demonstrators and state leaders are calling for the bills to be passed before the legislative session ends for the year.
Here are the package of bills the CGVPRI is calling on the Rhode Island General Assembly to pass:
● H 5554, sponsored by Rep. Justine Caldwell (HD 30), and S 0414, sponsored by Senator Gayle Goldin (SD 3), would prohibit high-capacity magazines. Prohibiting high-capacity magazines can help save lives in Rhode Island. High-capacity magazines (“HCMs”) are commonplace in mass shooting incidents and make instances of everyday gun violence exceptionally deadly. By increasing the number of bullets a shooter can fire without reloading, HCMs make firearms more lethal. Prohibitions on HCMs can help prevent devastating mass shootings and lessen the lethality of other acts of gun violence.
● H 5386, sponsored by Rep. Jason Knight (HD 67), and S 0416, sponsored by Senator Josh Miller (SD 28), would combat gun trafficking and straw purchases by identifying and holding accountable those who fuel the marketplace of illegal guns by purchasing guns on behalf of other people, making bulk purchases tied to subsequent illegal sales, and purchasing guns for people they know or should know are prohibited from possessing them.
● H 5556, sponsored by Rep. Justine Caldwell (HD 30), and S 0415, sponsored by Senator Josh Miller (SD 28), would restrict the possession and use of assault weapons. Assault weapons are commonplace in mass shootings and make shootings more lethal. Research shows that restrictions on assault weapons can help prevent mass shooting injuries and fatalities as well as reduce the devastation of daily gun violence.
● H 5555, sponsored by Rep. Katherine Kazarian (HD 63), and S 0073, sponsored by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (SD 4), would close a dangerous gap in current Rhode Island law which allows anyone who has a valid concealed carry permit to carry hidden, loaded guns in K-12 schools.
● H 5969, sponsored by Rep. Leonela Felix (HD 61), and S 0417, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey (SD 29), would help keep public spaces in Rhode Island safe by prohibiting the open carry of loaded rifles and shotguns in public. Open carry is a threat to public safety and is often used by armed extremists and members of hate groups as a show of intimidation.
● H 5553, sponsored by Rep. Justine Caldwell (HD 30), and S 0413, sponsored by Senator James Seveney (SD 11), would require all firearms to be securely stored when they are not in use. Research shows that securing firearms protects children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides.