As the nation watched in disbelief at the violent occupation of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, Rhode Island gun safety advocates saw disturbing parellels in the rise of aggressive rhetoric and tactics at the State House and in city and town councils over the years.

The mashup of pro-gun activists and anti-government groups, backed by the local and national gun lobbies, plays a big role in the disturbing gun violence in our state in 2020. From their loud and abusive behavior at State House rallies to their threats of violence at RIGA hearings to the Sanctuary Resolutions in towns throughout the state, these extremists pose a serious threat to the safety of our elected officials, as well as the general public.

NICS Background checks - Rhode Island 1999-2020

RI Second in Nation in FBI Background Checks

Rhode Island is second only to Michigan in the massive surge in 2020 NICS background checks, a leading indicator of gun sales.

RI Second Only to Michigan in 2020 NICS Checks

State / TerritoryNICS 2020 TotalNICS 2019 TotalIncrease/Decrease
Michigan1,068,511492,171217.10%
Rhode Island51,36924,338211.07%
Maryland302,563148,813203.32%
New Jersey177,90191,257194.95%
District of Columbia11,4855,926193.81%
Arizona665,458372,912178.45%
Nevada219,349128,312170.95%
Wisconsin731,618435,685167.92%
North Carolina890,284530,365167.86%
Georgia904,035539,113167.69%
Delaware77,05746,427165.97%
South Carolina530,930328,221161.76%
Vermont57,96535,843161.72%
Virginia823,513512,766160.60%
Florida1,912,2041,195,539159.94%
Hawaii20,10212,666158.71%
Alabama1,085,475690,084157.30%
Texas2,325,2811,487,212156.35%
New Hampshire174,662112,173155.71%
Tennessee984,760635,313155.00%
Mississippi366,829238,388153.88%
Nebraska104,51168,236153.16%
Ohio976,751638,495152.98%
Louisiana430,537282,264152.53%
Maine137,14990,626151.34%
Illinois7,455,0654,949,570150.62%
Kansas249,589167,010149.45%
Montana172,695115,823149.10%
Wyoming91,38461,291149.10%
Guam3,5722,397149.02%
Iowa270,614182,802148.04%
Utah1,216,773823,270147.80%
Pennsylvania1,452,921987,886147.07%
Arkansas324,741221,344146.71%
Colorado680,507469,535144.93%
Oregon516,096357,700144.28%
New York507,940355,374142.93%
Missouri708,184497,858142.25%
North Dakota85,46560,389141.52%
Minnesota958,391682,356140.45%
South Dakota115,44885,426135.14%
Idaho281,284209,275134.41%
Indiana1,935,5871,450,565133.44%
New Mexico206,252156,829131.51%
Oklahoma470,286360,043130.62%
California1,601,0541,240,632129.05%
West Virginia265,705206,196128.86%
Washington781,471607,170128.71%
Alaska98,95276,923128.64%
Connecticut219,227172,935126.77%
Massachusetts262,583212,316123.68%
Mariana Islands222189117.46%
Puerto Rico31,67128,635110.60%
Virgin Islands1,6391,544106.15%
Kentucky3,330,4624,120,89280.82%

Source: 2020 NICS Firearm Checks - Month Year by State

Gun Violence on the Rise in Rhode Island

The shocking 87% increase in gun deaths and 25% increase in gun injuries in 2020 over 2019 is the natural outcome of the skyrocketing surge in gun sales.

RI Gun Incidents 2014 to 2020

Source: Gun Violence Archive

YearTotal IncidentsKilledInjuredTotal CasualtiesNo Deaths/Injuries
202013028558347
201912815445969
2018213177794119
201718911799099
20162331486100133
20152201488102118
201414717718859

Boston University Study Identifies Second Amendment Advocacy as Distinct Gun Subculture

A newly published study demonstrates three distinct elements of modern gun culture, and they vary substantially between the states:

  • Recreational, in decline
  • Self-Defense, rising
  • Second Amendment, holding steady

Second Amendment activism is particularly high in states with the strictest gun laws, which explains the ferocity of the gun safety reform opponents. The study’s lead author says the NRA has been undermining American’s trust in their legislators for years.

http://www.bu.edu/articles/2020/new-gun-subculture-on-the-rise-in-liberal-states-stricter-gun-laws/