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Senator Goldin introduces bill to ban high-capacity gun magazines



“It’s only seven weeks into the year and we’ve already had multiple mass shootings,” said Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence). “It’s beyond time Rhode Island takes action. High-capacity magazines turn already powerful guns into weapons whose sole purpose is to incur multiple deaths and injuries as quickly as possible. They are illegal for hunting, and they are unnecessary for protection. They are a tool that enables mass shooters to carry out their heinous acts, leaving countless victims dead every year, and there’s no valid reason to allow their use and sale here in Rhode Island.”

The legislation, 2018-S 2319, would criminalize the manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale or transfer of any ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than ten rounds, known as high capacity magazines. Goldin had several cosponsors for her bill.

“This is a common-sense limit that is meant to prevent mass shootings,” said Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (Democrat, District 1, Providence), a cosponsor on the bill. “The ability to fire many bullets without reloading is one element that enables shooters to keep going. High-capacity magazines are a tool that is creating scores of innocent victims, particularly children in school shootings, and they should not be legal.”

“High-capacity magazines enable mass murderers, said Senator Joshua Miller (Democrat, District 28, Cranston). “Of all the gun reforms we should make, this one shouldn’t be that hard. You can’t go duck hunting with more than three bullets in your gun in Rhode Island. Are human lives not worth at least as much?”

“No law-abiding person has a need to rapidly fire off more than 10 rounds without reloading,” said cosponsor Senator Cynthia Armour Coyne (Democrat, District 32, Barrington). “High-capacity magazines are an open invitation for tragedy, and we shouldn’t wait for one of those tragedies to happen here in Rhode Island before we act.” Coyne is a former Rhode island State Trooper.

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“I understand the need to change hearts and minds on important issues, but how many hearts are going to stop beating before we take meaningful action?” asked Senator Dawn Euer (Democrat, District 13, Newport, Jamestown). “Common-sense gun safety measures are supported by the majority of people in our state.”

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Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.