RICAGV Press Release

Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey Once Again Successfully Defends the Assault Weapons Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 29, 2019

CONTACT: Kat Kerwin, Director of Communications

MASSACHUSETTS UPHOLDS ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN

Providence, Rhode Island (April 29, 2019)– Last April, a federal judge dismissed a suit filed by gun manufacturers against the state of Massachusetts on the grounds that the state had not violated the Second Amendment right with their law banning military style assault weapons. In an appeal that was heard on Friday, April 26th, 2019 the appeals court affirmed this decision.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV), continues to advocate for policy in Rhode Island that will match the Massachusetts 2004 state ban on assault weapons. In a time when mass shootings are the weapon of choice for mass killers, the urgency of this legislation has been met with a continued rebuttal from state leadership that they are concerned about violating the Second Amendment. However, this week’s decision further affirms what we already know from the Heller Decision. There is no constitutional right to own an assault weapon.

“State lawmakers have a critical role to help create safer communities where we strive for a more peaceful environment for all of us,” said Senator Josh Miller. “The courts have once again reinforced our right to legislative effectively towards this. It is time to pass my bill to ban military style assault weapons.”

“It seems like every morning we wake up to another story about another mass shooting, and the vast majority of them involve these types of weapons. The gun lobby now knows they cannot hide behind the Second Amendment when opposing these common-sense reforms,” said Representative Justine Caldwell. “It is our responsibility to protect Rhode Islanders and we can do that this session by passing my bill to ban assault weapons – a common-sense, constitutional, life-saving measure to protect our kids and our communities. As a mom and a legislator, I know that we can’t afford to wait.”

“Once again, the courts have agreed that the people of Massachusetts have the right to protect themselves, their communities, and their schools by banning these deadly weapons,” said Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey. “Today’s decision by the First Circuit is a defeat for the gun lobby and a victory for families across the nation.”

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence is hopeful state leaders will recognize that the right to regulate military style assault weapons is, like other constitutional rights, limited and vote on an assault weapons ban.

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Cost of Gun Violence Report

Cost of Gun Violence Report

“directly measurable cost of gun violence in Rhode Island exceeds $95 million each year, with a direct annual cost to taxpayers of approximately $19 million.”