As immigration legislation makes its way through the Senate, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay talks with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse about the immigration bill, and what happened to the gun bill that went down in the Senate.
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.
State officials plan to roll out a package of bills Tuesday in an attempt to reduce gun-related violence. Lawmakers and law enforcement officials have been discussing the issue since January.
Rhode Island is among the states considering more stringent gun laws after the school shooting last year in Newtown, Connecticut. The local response will come in a package of nine bills. The proposals are expected to include such topics as background checks, weapons sales, and mental health.
Senator Jack Reed says he thinks background checks would be effective in curbing gun violence. TheNew York Times reports that opposition to background checks is holding back federal gun control legislation.
Reed says he hopes background checks stay in the bill. “You know if we can’t get the background checks through there’s not much we’re doing in response to one of the great tragedies of recent years,” says Reed.