Regulating Assault Weapons in Rhode Island
Stepping in where the federal government has failed to regulate military-style assault weapons, with sensible exclusions.
Gun Massacres Surged Dramatically Following Expiration of the Federal Ban
The federal lack of response leaves no choice but for R.I. to take action with common sense gun legislation.
We don’t know where the next mass shooting will occur: a school, church, movie theater, park, concert, or mall.
We do know that we can take steps to prevent this violence from occurring in Rhode Island.
During the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994-2004)
37% decrease in incidents and 42% decrease in deaths
After Ban Expires (2004-2014)
183% increase in incidents and 239% increase in deaths
Connecticut Lowers Gun Violence with Tougher Gun Control
In the wake of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School Connecticut passed gun safety legislation, including an assault weapons ban.
These new laws have resulted in the fastest drop in violent crime of any state over the last four years.
Connecticut is now one of the states with the strictest gun safety laws and has one of the lowest rates of gun deaths.
Conversely, states with the most lax laws, including Alabama, Alaska and Louisiana, have the highest rates of gun deaths.
R.I. lags behind our neighbors as well as other like-minded states in banning assault weapons. As of February 2018, the following states ban assault weapons:
- New York
- New Jersey
Which Community is Next?
As a nation, we are on track to far exceed the 2004-2014 increase in gun massacres. Since 2015 the number of mass shootings deaths and incidents involving assault-style weapons have increased dramatically:
- 17 killed, 14+ injured at a high school in Parkland, FL on February 14, 2018
- 4 killed, 1 injured at a car wash in Melcroft, PA on January 28, 2018
- 5 killed, 10 injured at an elementary school and other locations in Rancho Tehama, CA on November 14, 2017
- 26 killed, 20 injured at a church in Sutherland Springs, TX on November 5, 2017
- 58 people killed, 546 injured at concert in Las Vegas, NV on October 1, 2017
- 8 killed, 1 injured at a home in Plano, TX on September 10, 2017
- 5 killed, 11 injured at a peaceful protest in Dallas, TX on July 7, 2016
- 49 killed, 53 injured at a nightclub in Orlando, FL on July 12, 2016
- 3 killed, 14 injured at a manufacturing company in Hesston, KS on February 25, 2016
- 14 killed, 21 injured at a holiday party in San Bernardino, CA on December 2, 2015
- 3 killed, 9 injured at a Planned Parenthood health clinic in Colorado Springs, CO on November 27, 2015
- 3 killed in downtown Colorado Springs, CO on October 31, 2015
- 5 killed, 2 injured at a Naval reserve center in Chattanooga, TN on September 16, 2015
An American Epidemic
It is NOT mental health, video games, or racial diversity that makes the difference in the incredibly high rate of gun violence in America versus the rest of the world. The factor that has created this American epidemic of violence is the sheer number of guns.
The killer in Orlando was able to fire 200 bullets in the first 20 minutes of his rampage, which ultimately killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.
Clearly intent on killing as many people as possible, the killers used semiautomatic weapons, had thousands of rounds of ammunition, and high capacity magazines.
High capacity magazines enabled the shooter to fire 154 rounds in less than 5 minutes.
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