A joint task force is hearing public testimony this afternoon on Rhode Island's compliance - or lack there-of- with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That's one of three national databases gun sellers are supposed to check before they sell you a gun, and it's the one that contains records of involuntary commitment, substance abuse, and other mental health data. The other databases contain criminal records. Rhode Island does not submit mental health records to NICS, and it's trying to figure out whether it can and should.

Ian Donnis

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss the race for governor; the fate of gun-related legislation in the General Assembly; the cancaled appearance at Brown University involving New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly, and other issues.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic candidate for general treasurer Seth Magaziner joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his campaign; the debate between Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo over third-party spending; divesting the state pension fund from gun-related companies; and other issues.

The NRA's political action committee in Rhode Island, which has contributed a considerable amount of money to Rhode Island lawmakers over the years, dissolved on September 26 after being the subject of a complaint by the Rhode Island chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America.

The president of the Exeter Town Council says an effort to recall her and three other councilors is unjustified. Some gun owners were upset when four councilors tried getting the attorney general’s office to take responsibility for issuing concealed carry permits.

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Is Rhode Island taking steps to join NICS, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System? Perhaps. The General Assembly has passed legislation authorizing the creation of a 20-member task force to explore the "intersection of behavioral health and firearm safety." Here's what it means.

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As far as I can tell from the Rhode Island General Assembly's online legislation tracker, not a single bill dealing with reducing firearm violence has made it out of committee. Most have been recommended "held for further study," a kind of legislative purgatory, although some bills could be revived at the last minute.

May rolls in with history being made in Rhode Island. Welcome back to my weekly column. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in:

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The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow Rhode Island State College Police to carry guns. 

The hearing comes after a scare at the University of Rhode Island about a gunman on campus, and Rhode Island is currently the only state in the country that does not allow armed campus police at public colleges and universities. The University of Rhode Island is also expected to release its preliminary review in the coming days examining how it responded to the report of a possible shooter.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing this week on a bill to allow campus police to carry guns at Rhode Island state colleges and universities. The bill was filed long before a scare this month about a gunman on the University of Rhode Island Kingston campus.

Representative Joe Almeida, a Providence Democrat, turned to politics after a 20-year-career as a police officer. He filed legislation back in February to allow campus police to carry guns. He said many campus police officers are retired cops just like he is, and they’re already trained to carry a firearm.

Legislative language that would allow Rhode Islanders who own guns defined as assault weapons to keep them after the July 1 effective date is missing from the relevant bill.

Happy Friday and welcome back. Your tips and thoughts are always appreciated in my inbox at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's dive in.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

State Representative Michael Chippendale (R-Foster) joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the nine-point gun-safety proposal unveiled this week by state officials, Governor Lincoln Chafee's choice to lead the state Economic Development Corporation, and other issues.

Republicans Push Back on Gun Control Proposal

Apr 11, 2013
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Republican lawmakers are taking aim at a package of gun control bills proposed Tuesday by Governor Lincoln Chafee and legislative leaders.

Among other things, the new laws would ban the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines.  State Representative Doreen Costa of North Kingstown questions the constitutionality of the bills.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A nine-point plan intended to reduce gun-related violence and reduce the threat of a school shooting in Rhode Island was unveiled by leading elected and public-safety officials at the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon. Legislative leaders repeatedly called the proposal a starting point for discussion, raising questions about what exactly will meet with General Assembly muster before the legislature ends it session in June.