Council takes aim at gun bills
By Laura Damon
Daily News staff writer
PORTSMOUTH - The Town Council voted unanimously Monday to pass a resolution in support of three House bills related to gun ownership and restrictions.
Councilor Leonard Katzman was not present for the vote.
The resolution was sent to local representatives in the General Assembly as a show of council support, Councilor Andrew Kelly, who placed the item on Monday's agenda, said on Tuesday.
“Assault weapons and highcapacity magazines are used to kill mass amounts of people,” Kelly said on Tuesday. “They're weapons of war.”
“By no means am I opposed to people owning guns,” Kelly added. “I just don't believe weapons of war ... need to be in your house.”
The resolution supports House bills 5762 pertaining to guns on school grounds; 5741, “Rhode Island Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2019;” and 5739 pertaining to a “large capacity feeding device” ban.
H-5762 would “prohibit the possession of firearms within three hundred feet (300') of school grounds except for peace officers, retired law enforcement officers, persons under contract to provide school security services, firearms on private property and unloaded firearms in locked containers or a locked rack on motor vehicles.”
The legislation defines school grounds as “the property of a public or private elementary or secondary school or in those portions of any building, stadium, or other structure on school grounds which were, at the time of the violation, being used for an activity sponsored by or through a school in this state or while riding school provided transportation.”
The Rhode Island Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2019 would ban “the possession, sale and transfer of assault weapons.” But possession of assault weapons owned on the effective date of the legislation would be “grandfathered” upon registration and payment of a $25 registration fee, according to the bill.
The bill defines an assault weapon as a “semi-automatic See GUNS, A6
“By no means am I opposed to people owning guns. I just don't believe weapons of war ... need to be in your house.”
Councilor Andrew Kelly
From Page A1
shotgun with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding six rounds, or that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and a pistol grip, or a folding or telescopic stock.”
It also includes in the definition a “semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine capacity exceeding 10 rounds or with the ability to accept a detachable magazine” and has at least one of the following features: a folding or telescopic stock; a pistol grip that protrudes “conspicuously” beneath the action of the weapon; a bayonet mount; a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor or a grenade launcher. Under the law, an assault weapon is also defined as a “semi-automatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine” and has at least one of the following features: an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer; a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned; or has a manufactured weight of fifty ounces (50 oz.) or more when the pistol is unloaded.
“Assault weapon shall not include a semi-automatic rifle which has an attached tubular device and which is capable of operating only with .22 caliber rimfire ammunition,” according to the legislation.
H-5739 would “prohibit the sale or possession of a large capacity feeding device capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition for use on a semi-automatic firearm.”
The law defines a “large capacity feeding device” as a “magazine, box, drum, tube, belt, feed strip, or other container which is capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition to be fed continuously and directly therefrom into a semi-automatic firearm.” Sixty-five supporters and opponents of the gun legislation testified before the House Judiciary Committee on March 19. The three bills were held for further study. email@example.com
The Portsmouth Town Council voted unanimously Monday to pass a resolution in support of three House bills related to gun ownership and restrictions. [JESSICA POHL/FILE PHOTO]