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Rhode Islanders rally for gun safety

Rhode Islanders gathered at the State House yesterday in support of a bill that would keep guns out of the hands of convicted domestic violence abusers. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, Rhode Island has relatively weak gun laws, making it easier for people with criminal records to access firearms. About a quarter of deaths due to domestic violence in Rhode Island are the result of gun violence.

The new bill, introduced in February, would prohibit people who are convicted of domestic violence from getting a gun. It would also force domestic abusers to give up the guns they already own. Representative Teresa Tanzi, a co-sponsor of the legislation, said that on the issue of gun violence, Rhode Island’s legislature needs to create laws where they don’t yet exist.

“We are, as residents of Rhode Island, oftentimes subject to the weakest laws,” Tanzi said. “I would love for there to be a federal solution to this issue but I don’t think that’s coming anytime soon. In the meantime, I would like to do whatever we can in the state of Rhode Island to protect our families.”

This is not the first time the assembly has seen this kind of legislation, according to Tanzi.  Since its introduction, the bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for further review.

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