RICAGV Press Release
Tiverton Residents Prepare to Defeat 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Town Resolution
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
CONTACT: Kat Kerwin, Director of Communications
Providence, Rhode Island (May 28, 2019)– The Tiverton Town Council will meet this evening at 7PM at Tiverton Town Hall to vote on a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town resolution. The resolution that only a handful of towns in western portions of the state have introduced would allow law enforcement to cherry pick the gun laws that they would enforce. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence knows that towns do not have the power to decide which laws they can and cannot enforce because this is a matter that must be left to the courts. The Coalition also knows that our General Assembly has made big gains in their efforts to make Rhode Island safer.
The 2017 Protect Rhode Island Families Act disarms individuals who have been convicted of domestic abuse. Limiting ownership of weapons from violent abusers is a powerful tool to protect vulnerable people and if town councilors begin to undo these important measures, our communities will be at risk and our grassroots efforts undermined.
After many Tiverton residents reached out to Councilor, Justin Katz to voice opposition to the resolution, he responded with an automated email that reads: “Residents who have requested that we pass this resolution feel that state laws that infringe on their Constitutional rights cause strife.”
The Coalition Against Gun Violence feels it necessary to point out the “strife” that residents may feel when life-saving gun safety measures are enacted will never match the strife of losing a loved one to gun violence or domestic abuse.
Instead, this resolution advances the false narrative that the Second Amendment is at risk, making law-abiding gun owners feel threatened and contributing to the sort of hysteria that leads many to vehemently oppose any measure at all that regulates gun possession, no matter the weapon or the threat to public safety. Actions like this contribute to the growth of mindless mob politics in our society, and the decline of thoughtful discourse and common sense. Adopting resolutions that are intentionally designed to conflict with as-yet- nonexistent state laws sends a message to residents and potential future business tenants that Tiverton is a place where you can’t count on leaders to adhere to laws.
Further, the Coalition maintains that gun safety reform is completely within rights of the Constitution. Time and time again, courts have upheld that like many constitutional rights, the Second Amendment has time, place and manner restrictions and measures that ban guns in volatile places such as schools and measures that outlaw military style-assault weapons fall within these constitutional limits.
The Coalition is optimistic that the Tiverton Town Council will do the right thing for their community and vote this resolution down.
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Kicking off the rally with a poem was Jaychele Schenck, youth organizer and leader with Young Voices.