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West Warwick Town Council passes resolution supporting the Second Amendment

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The West Warwick Town Council passes a resolution in support of the Second Amendment, but stops short of declaring themselves a Sanctuary Town

Under the leadership of Council President David Gosselin Jr (Ward 2 Democrat), the West Warwick Town Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Two very similar resolutions were before the Council. One declared the Town of West Warwick a Second Amendment Sanctuary Town, but too many people had issues with the use of that word, which more commonly refers to people, not objects, like guns. The resolution passed is a simple statement in support of the Second Amendment.

“Nothing we do tonight with this resolution would be legally binding whatsoever,” said Town Council Member Jason Messier (Ward 3, Unaffiliated) noting that gun laws are decided on the State and Federal level, not by local municipalities.

“I don’t agree with naming us a Sanctuary City,” said Council Member Maribeth Williamson (Ward 1, Democrat).

On issue that came up was the storage of weapons that might be confiscated were new state laws outlawing certain weapons illegal to be passed. West Warwick Police Chief Mark Knott told the Council that he was planning to spend some money to improve and update the evidence holding facilities at his police station, but that this expense was unrelated to any legislation being considered by the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Most in the room wore the yellow tee shirt identifying themselves
as members of the Second Amendment Coalition

Other municipalities, such as Burrillville, included language in their Second Amendment Sanctuary Town resolutions that attempted to curb the power of the Town Council and Police Department from funding such efforts on the local level. These “unfunded mandates” that is, expenses incurred by cities and towns do to legislation passed by the State Legislature, is particularly galling to most members of municipal level councils. The costs of storing guns seized under possible future laws is considered an unfunded mandate.

Chief Knot addresses the Town Council.
There were a few members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
attending the Town Council meeting as well.

Can we please ask a favor?

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Ultimately the West Warwick resolution did nothing around this issue.

All five council members voted for the resolution, including the three mentioned above and Council Vice President John D’Amico (Ward 5, Democrat) and Council Member Jason Licciardi Sr (Ward 4, Unaffiliated).

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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 nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com