The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) has the support of dozens of crucial Rhode Island organizations as well as Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence and Rhode Island Mayors in their campaign to pass the Safe Schools Act and Assault Weapons Ban. Since the Coalition began advocating for these bills this session they have secured the support of key players in the education, law-enforcement, religious, medical, labor, and non-profit communities.
The Coalition is grateful to the many individuals and organizations who have lent their support to our efforts including Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, who wrote in support of our life-saving gun safety bills: “I am writing at this time to offer my personal support for the efforts of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence to enact reasonable and common sense gun control legislation here in Rhode Island. I have publicly supported these legislative efforts on a number of occasions in the past. For example, a few years ago I wrote, ‘The right to own guns in not an absolute right. As a personal right it always has to be balanced with the legitimate rights of other people and with protecting the common good.’”
The support has been particularly resounding since the tragedy at Parkland woke so many Rhode Islanders up to the truth that in Rhode Island we are vulnerable. We are one of just four states in the nation that generally allow any citizen to carry concealed firearms into a K-12 school without the permission of school personnel, and without any requiring them to inform either school personnel or law enforcement to that fact that they are carrying a firearm around school children.
“We as Rhode Islanders and as a Coalition have been working tirelessly to pass this bill to ensure that only trained resource officers, the people who have had regular trainings in active shoot/don’t shoot situations have the responsibility of carrying in our schools,” said RICAGV President, Linda Finn. “The support of so many influential organizations that represent so many diverse communities in this state is due to not only to the labor of our efforts, but also the overwhelming public support for the Safe Schools Act.”
The Coalition thanks the following organizations for their support and commitment to make Rhode Island students and Rhode Island schools safer: The Rhode Island Association of School Principals, The Rhode Island Association of School Committees, The Rhode Island Federation of Teachers & Health Professionals, The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association, The National Education Association of RI (NEARI), The Rhode Island School Superintendents Association, Governor Raimondo, Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence, Mayor Diossa of Central Falls, The Rhode Island AFL-CIO, Rhode Island Kids Count, The Rhode Island State Council of Churches, Religious Coalition For A Violence Free Rhode Island, The American Academy of Physicians, The American College of Physicians, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, and Providence Community Health Centers, along with the 24 School Committees and 11 Municipal Councils around the state that have signed resolutions supporting the Safe Schools Act.
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence plans to continue the fight for these sensible gun safety bills with a grassroots lobby day at the Rhode Island State House today, Tuesday, May 22nd at 3PM.