2018 Session Recap:
Big Gains for Common-Sense Gun Safety Reform
Amazing Organizational Growth and Grassroots Activism Across the State
This legislative session was very busy, with over 2,348 bills introduced in the House and Senate.
And yet, in spite of the demands for time and attention from lawmakers and voters, we achieved not only legislative success, but also impressive advances in many key areas.
We are so thrilled to share with you our list of accomplishment so far in 2018:
- Fought for the passage of five important bills, with two passing: the Red Flag Bill and the Bump Stock Ban.
- Blocked 2 dangerous weapons-related bills: concealed carry permit reciprocity and legalization of tasers for civilians.
- Increased our coalition to include 109 partner organizations, whose memberships represent over 153,200 Rhode Island citizens.
- Hired Kat Kerwin as Communications Director.
- Launched the Youth Coalition Against Gun Violence (YCAGV), collaborating with:
- The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence
- Providence Student Union (PSU)
- Young Voices
- One Gun Gone
- Sponsored DANGERR: A Design Competition to Promote Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation and Education, organized by Metalsmith Boris Bally; the winner will be announced at our Thank You Party in July.
- Received written support from Bishop Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.
- Increased the number of legislators who signed on as Co-Sponsors of The Safe Schools Act and The Assault Weapons Ban, thanks in large part to the targeted response from our supporters and volunteers:
- Thousands of emails sent consistently to local lawmakers as well as leadership
- Hundreds of phone calls to the office of The Speaker of the House and The Senate President
- Thousands of supporters engaged in hands-on organizing:
- Lobbying lawmakers in April, May and June
- Canvassing Speaker Mattiello’s district, gathering over 400 postcard signatures
- Writing dozens of letters to editors of local papers
- Attending Democratic Party Platform Committee meetings to urge inclusion of common-sense gun safety reform in the new platform
- Providing written and in-person testimony in both Senate and House hearings
- Participating in high profile marches, rallies, press conferences:
- March for Our Lives
- Never Again Rally
- I Am Not a Target
This groundswell of support has reached critical mass; had the leadership of the Rhode Island General Assembly brought The Safe Schools Act to the floor it would have passed. In addition, we made remarkable headway in promoting the facts about the dangers of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
Many lawmakers who have been against a ban on these dangerous weapons are showing signs of compromise and will likely bow to the pressure of voters, police and public health officials, doctors, gun violence prevention groups, AND community organizations next year.
We are so proud of the growth of RICAGV and our activism has not gone unnoticed by lawmakers. We intend to keep the pressure on as we head into the election cycle and then straight into 2019.