Rhode Island set to consider new gun laws

AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

The state of Rhode Island doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being one of the most heavily gun-controlled states in the nation. It’s not good credit, mind you, but it does happen to be true. Look at their gun laws sometime and you’ll start to recognize just how little regard they have for the Second Amendment there.

Now they’re considering still more regulations.

Proposal to ban outdoor gun ranges near schools

Jeanne Thomason of Cranston was among the letter-writers.

She begged lawmakers to pass Rep. Brandon Potter’s bill [H7889] banning outdoor gun ranges within a mile of any K-12 school, because every time the “very loud” shooting begins, neighbors cringe and teachers and students are left “wondering if they could possibly be under attack.”

Yeah, I’m going to guess this isn’t really as big of a problem as they’d like to pretend it to be.

For one thing, I doubt there are that many gun ranges that close to schools in Rhode Island in the first place. While there may be a few, it’s not likely to be a huge amount.

Second, this sounds more like a local zoning issue rather than a state thing.

Finally, unless the range is right next to the school, I’m doubtful the gunshots from the range really make people think they’re under attack. Sure, the shots make a lot of noise, but that noise dies off the further you are from it. Being inside will also change things.

I honestly don’t see this as an issue, it’s just anti-gun bigotry.

Making it a felony to store guns unlocked

Last year, Patti Alley waited hours for her turn to tell Rhode Island lawmakers about her sister Allyson DosReis’s suicide with a loaded gun belonging to her partner, an active-duty member of the military and firearm safety instructor for the state police.

“I believe [that] if the gun had been secured it would have prevented my sister from acting impulsively. It would have bought some time, and sometimes when you can interrupt a suicide … you can save a life.”

It’s cute how people think a lock will prevent suicide. Does anyone really think the partner wouldn’t have provided access to the locking mechanism so the sister could have protected herself if it were needed?

Of course they would have.

Yes, delay can make a difference, but just how much delay do you really think you’re going to see?

All this is about is that Patti Alley wants to blame someone for her sister’s suicide and she’s decided to blame the partner. Since she can’t do anything to them, though, she wants to dictate what people can and can’t do with their own property.

While I generally advocate for securing guns when not in use, I also think people have a right to decide what constitutes a gun being “in use.” That means the gun on the nightstand is in use if you have it there so you can access it if someone tries to break into the house.

As such, this bill is just ridiculous, as are all the other bills we’ve seen similar to it.

Some bills would expand gun owners’ rights

From the other side of the divide are several bills, including H7301, to lift the current restrictions on purchase, possession and use of stun guns and tasers in light of a recent court decision.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith struck down a state law barring the possession of stun guns and tasers as an unconstitutional restriction on the right to bear arms.

This one is good and it should pass.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to offer on this one.

So three bills, two of which are completely stupid and one is about bringing state law in line with what federal courts have ruled. Honestly, from Rhode Island, this is about as good as you could hope for.