House Speaker calls for gun control in the 2020 legislative session
By: Ellie Romano
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - State lawmakers returned to Smith Hill on Tuesday for the start of the 2020 legislative session.
To begin the new year, leaders in both the House and Senate addressed their colleagues and presented their goals for this year.
In the House, Speaker Nicholas Mattiello announced a new push for gun control.
"We need to get guns out of the hands of those who have mental illness," said Mattiello. "We will also be looking at banning 3D printed guns and 'Ghost Guns.'"
This announcement comes after a Pawtucket woman was shot and killed on New Year's Day by what police believe was a 3D printed gun.
This also follows the Westerly shooting at a government-subsidized housing complex that left two people dead, including the gunman, and two others injured.
"We must protect the public from people who are not law-abiding citizens and who possess firearms illegally," said Mattiello.
He said he'd like to add provisions to the current background check laws that would require police chiefs in each community to review a person's firearm application.
He's also looking at implementing a statewide record-keeping system that will integrate all police departments, including State Police.
"It will allow easy communication and the sharing of information among all our state's law enforcement," said Mattiello.
Over in the Senate chambers, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said he also expects to see legislation that bans printed guns and “Ghost Guns.' He said this issue has been debated since it emerged in 2018.
For Ruggerio, education reform is at the top of his agenda.
"Among the areas we will look to improve are strengthening civics education and financial literacy, increasing funding for English Language Learners, and implementing programs to attract teachers in hard to fill areas like math, science and world languages," said Ruggerio in his address to the Senate.
Mattiello also touched on education reform and called for increased safety in schools.
"We want to expand upon school safety measures this year by utilizing a statewide notification and early response system," said Mattiello.
The speaker made it clear that the repeal of the state car tax will continue as scheduled.
"Our constituents deserve to have this onerous tax eliminated," said Mattiello.
He also sent a message to Governor Gina Raimondo and her staffers that budget cuts will be made.
"While we look forward to the governor's budget submission later this month, we hope that her administration is following corrective action plans to tighten the spending in some of our departments," he said. “We will produce a balanced budget that addresses all of society’s needs.”
The General Assembly is working to solve the state's $200 million budget deficit.
©WLNE-TV/ ABC6 2020