Rhode Island Outlaws Gun Sales Under 21, Bans Open Carry, 'Hi Cap' Mags
Clad in the swag of a national anti-gun group and surrounded by its activists, a smiling Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee signed a trio of new gun control bills into law.
"As Governor, I am proud to sign a legislative package that will ban high-capacity magazines, raise the legal age to purchase firearms to 21 and prohibit the open carry of a rifle or shotgun in public," said McKee at the signing ceremony, attended by over 100 advocates.
The measures inked by McKee, a Democrat, were driven through the state legislature by majority Dems over Republican opposition. This included a rarely-used procedural maneuver to bypass a rejection by a key Senate committee of the proposed magazine ban. The only narrow win by the GOP was to defeat a proposed outright "assault weapon" ban on popular semi-auto rifles and shotguns.
The bills signed by McKee include, as noted by the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action:
H.6614 by Rep. Justine Caldwell is a magazine ban. The bill is drastic with no grandfathering and forces gun owners to get rid of any magazines capable of holding over 10 rounds or become a felon and lose your firearms for life.
H.7358 by Rep. Leonela Felix defines shotguns and rifles as weapons and prevents them from being loaded in public. That is a sweeping prohibition. The bill essentially says your gun can only be loaded in your home with narrow hunting exceptions. That is a significant attack on your right to self-defense. Furthermore, the bill prohibits magazines from being loaded! That’s right, it seems as if the bill’s sponsor doesn’t realize a bullet cannot be fired from a magazine, and certainly a magazine not loaded into a firearm. This bill is conceptually flawed.
H.7457 by Rep. Teresa Tanzi increases the age from 18 to 21 for the purchase of firearms and ammunition, rendering self-defense for an entire class of legal adults impossible. The 9th Circuit Court recently struck down a similar state law on the West Coast. This issue is certain to be litigated further.
There is zero evidence that any of this will improve public safety. Lawmakers and prosecutors should address school security and prosecute criminals who break laws which are already on the books. Rhode Island has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and that is according to gun ban groups.
According to the FBI's crime statistics for 2019, the most recent year available, Rhode Island suffered 25 homicides in which the weapon was known. None of the 25 were committed with a shotgun or rifle.
Banner image: A young man tries out the sights on a DSA SA58 at the NRA Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas, in May 2022. The SA58 is based on the FN FAL pattern rifle, one so common as to be known as "The Free World's Right Arm." In Rhode Island, ownership of its magazines, or its purchase by those under 21, will be illegal under laws recently signed by Gov. McKee. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)