Local lawmakers role out gun reform legislation - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Local lawmakers role out gun reform legislation

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Abbey Niezgoda

aniezgoda@abc6.com

Graphic:MGNonline.com

"This should not be the new normal. We need to do something" said House Speaker Gordon Fox while unveiling local gun control legislation at the State House on Wednesday.

Local politicians and law enforcement announced sweeping gun control legislation, a conversation sparked by the tragedy in Newtown and was reaffirmed during Thursday's gun scare at URI. "Somehow we have to reconcile what the second amendment says and what's happening on our streets and in our schools" said Governor Lincoln Chafee

Rhode Island would ban semi–automatic assault weapons starting in July, increase the penalty for carrying an illegal firearm and also make it illegal for a minor to carry or use a gun unless supervised by an adult. "We want to make people safe we want to keep people safe and we are committed to do something" said Governor Chafee. There was no shortage of emotion from the audience. "States that have no gun control have less murders."

The announcement comes just days after Connecticut passed similar legislation which prompted RI house minority leader Brian Newberry to extend an invitation to Connecticut gun manufacturers asking them to open shop in the ocean state.

"Well it's high quality, high paying manufacturing jobs and that's exactly what this state needs" said Newberry. He believes that stricter gun laws are not the solution to preventing another Newtown. "This is just people using this tragedy to push something they've always pushed for before and I find that inappropriate"

The lawmakers proposing the legislation say they don't see a down side to making Rhode Island safer and they hope the entire general assembly can agree on that. "So today's the first step." said Newberry, "we're introducing the legislation. Let the debate begin."

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