RICAGV Press Release

Statement on HB 8119 – Legalizing Civilian Ownership of Stun Guns (Tazers)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2018

CONTACT: Kat Kerwin, Director of Communications

Providence, Rhode Island (June 19, 2018) –

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence board stands with the Rhode Island law enforcement community in opposition to House Bill 8119. This bill was not afforded a meaningful public hearing by the House Judiciary Committee and is an obvious attempt to deny public debate on a serious matter.

If passed this bill would permit 18 year-olds to carry stun guns. Under current law, persons must be 21 to purchase handguns. They must also obtain a concealed carry permit to carry a handgun in public. This bill seeks to bypass these important safeguards.

Essentially, this proposed law is an attempt by the corporate gun lobby to promote “starter guns” to young people- with a larger goal of encouraging firearm ownership. It is part of the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda and an attempt to normalize guns.

Like the tobacco industry’s promotion of e-cigarettes the gun lobby is promoting tasers as a safer alternative to guns. However they are much more lethal than advertised. Tasers are also known to cause cardiac arrest in otherwise healthy individuals, and according to a PBS report, since 2000, police have killed more than 1,000 people with tasers. Tasers then are not a safe alternative to firearms, but rather carry their own lethality.

Passage of a bill that permits the sale of lethal weapons deserves a timely and thorough debate before the house and senate judiciary committee, thoughtful consideration of data and the impact of passing a bill of this kind.

We respectfully implore the General Assembly to vote no on the passage of this bill.

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Statement on the End of the 2018 Legislative Session

Statement on the End of the 2018 Legislative Session

The General Assembly ignored the massive outpouring of anxiety and fear on display in 2018 by thousands of R.I. students, parents, teachers, professionals, arts, and concerned citizens by failing to bring The Safe Schools Act out of Judiciary Committees in both the House and Senate for the 4th straight year; they also left The Assault Weapon and High Capacity Magazine Bans in Judiciary, as well as failing to act on many family-focused pieces of legislation.