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Tiverton Town Council rejects Second Amendment Sanctuary Town resolution, but will reconsider in June

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On Tuesday, the Tiverton Town Council voted down a resolution that would have declared Tiverton a second amendment sanctuary town by a vote of 4-3. Town Councilors Denise deMedeiros, Nancy Driggs, Patricia Hilton and Joseph Perry voted against. Council President Robert Coulter, Council Vice-President Justin Katz and Councilor Donna Cook voted in favor of the resolution.

“To be clear, none of the current laws on the books in Rhode Island or any of the proposed laws submitted by the Attorney General violate the Second Amendment,” said Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) President Linda Finn, addressing the Council. “None of the laws proposed would require any firearms to be confiscated from law-abiding gun owners. The idea that local police will be confiscating and stockpiling hundreds of weapons that would need extra storage is just not the case.”

Here’s the video of the Tiverton Town Council discussion and the public comment:

The town councils of Burrillville, Richmond, Foster and Hopkinton have voted to declare themselves Second Amendment Sanctuary Towns. West Warwick has voted to become a Second Amendment Sanctuary City. The Town of Glocester plans to vote on the issue in June.

Though the resolution has been voted down, th is may not be that last word on Tiverton’s Second Amendment Sanctuary status. In a statement, Council Vice-President Katz writes, “Thinking the matter over, people began to leave, and the president stated repeatedly during the break that the matter was still open. After the recess Councilor Driggs made it clear that she had voted against the motion as stated because she wanted to make a (relatively minor) change to the language. After some discussion of process and concern that people had left, the council decided to move the rest of the agenda, including the discussion of the Second Amendment Sanctuary Town resolution, to a special meeting on Monday, June 3, at 7:00PM.”


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The RICAGV says that they are “optimistic that the Town Council will recognize that the only the courts have the power to decide which bills are unconstitutional and that this vote has already caused dissension in the town.” They urge the Tiverton Town Council to reject this motion if another vote is taken in June.

For more on the Second Amendment Sanctuary Town movement in Rhode Island, see:

[This report compiled with some material from a RICAGV press release.]


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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com