guns

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:

RIPR File Photo

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
Flo Jonic/RIPR

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.

Here's one piece of legislation proposed by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin today as part of a package of gun safety bills:

With state officials due to release their proposal Tuesday for curbing gun violence, Republican House lawmakers are inviting gun makers to relocate to Rhode Island in response to changes in Connecticut and Maryland. A legislative news release says the changes render those two states as "hostile territory":

Welcome back to my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to the list.

Welcome to March, the run-up to spring, and another edition of my Friday column. Your thoughts and tips are always welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's head in:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

There’s a lot of talk on Smith Hill this week about guns, including several new bills that aim to tighten gun ownership and possession laws. We sat down with Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to learn more about how his office is contributing to the gun conversation. One major issue is Rhode Island’s participation in the national gun background check databases.

Today on Smith Hill, a lobbyist with the National Rifle Association and a captain in the Rhode Island State Police are meeting with lawmakers for an informal session. They are coming at the request of Woonsocket Democrat Representative Lisa Badelli-Hunt. She says lawmakers need more information if they’re going to intelligently consider gun legislation this session.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay joins afternoon host Dave Fallon to discuss the meeting and what it means for gun control measures in the state.  

Guns and lies

Feb 19, 2013
Gun Appreciation Day

No word yet on how Rhode Island might address the growing debate about gun control and violence prevention. My colleague Ian Donnis and I have been covering the issue (see some related stories, below), and so far we know there's talk of proposing legislation (no details yet) and a vague working group of lawmakers and policymakers discussing the issues. Those issues probably include Rhode Island's participation in a national gun background check database and how to use mental health records when it comes to allowing firearms purchases.

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