This State's New Gun Laws 'Spit' On The Constitution

By Rachel Morris | Thursday, 16 June 2022 12:00
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Three gun reform laws cleared the Rhode Island Senate Tuesday night, including a controversial one limiting firearms to only 10 rounds per magazine, producing an explosion from pro-Second Amendment advocates in the chamber’s gallery.

“Vote them out,” the spectators shouted, WLNE reported. According to the report, the disruption pushed Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to order security to clear the gallery.

The bill attempts to raise the age to buy firearms and ammunition to 21, from 18, while another bars people from openly carrying rifles and shotguns. The Senate voted 31-5 on these measures, WLNE reported.

A more controversial measure that limits magazine sizes in the state to only 10 rounds, more narrowly passed yet still cleared the chamber 21-11, according to the report.

The legislation is only one hurdle away from becoming law.

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The controversially-argued magazine bill was pushed through the chamber through an “immediate consideration” procedure after a version of it failed to clear the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee in a tied 6-6 vote, WLNE reported.

Following the Senate version of the bill stalled in the committee, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey utilized the emergency procedure to bypass committee consideration and bring it to a floor vote, where two-thirds of the chamber was then asked to approve it, WLNE reported.

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The bills come after the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school massacre and ten years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that resulted in 26 people dead in nearby Newtown, Connecticut.

Democratic supporters of the bill praised the passage and announced that the bills could prevent mass shootings in their state.

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“We are not taking anyone’s right away,” Sen. Lou DiPalma (D-Middletown) claimed throughout a debate on the bill, WLNE reported.

“We don’t want to wait here for a mass shooting to happen in Rhode Island,” counted Sen. Cynthia Coyne (D-Barrington), per the report.

Some Republicans and Democrats claimed the bills infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

“My image of this chamber is tarnished after how we got here tonight,” said Sen. Gordon Rogers (R-Foster), citing the unique procedure, WLNE reported.

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“The issue here is that we are taking a path which I think will cause great harm to all of our law-abiding citizens,” announced Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry).

Brenda Jacob, President of the Rhode Island Revolver and Rifle Association, thinks mass shootings shouldn’t be politicized. She announced the focus shouldn’t be on further restricting gun access yet instead on school safety and mental health resources.

“We just feel like this is another piece of feel-good legislation that is not going to stop this from happening in the long run,” Jacob announced.

The bills cleared the House Friday evening and will now head to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk, where they are expected to be signed.

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