Opinion/August: A right infringed upon at the General Assembly

Opinion/August: A right infringed upon at the General Assembly

Guest columnist Richard J. August writes and testifies frequently on Second Amendment issues. He lives in North Kingstown. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Article I Section 22 Rhode Island Constitution. To infringe means: “To violate. To encroach upon. To invalidate.” Nevertheless, responding to a vociferous and well-financed group of anti-gunners, the leadership of the General Assembly permitted several bills to pass that erode the right guaranteed by the state and federal Constitutions. The first of these, known as the “straw purchaser bill,” is redundant because buying a firearm for someone else — particularly if you know that person is prohibited from buying one — is already against the law. The forms that a federally licensed firearms dealer require a buyer to complete ask if you are buying the gun for yourself. Lying on the forms carries a 10-year prison term. Attorney General Peter Neronha calls this bill his highest priority. President Biden claimed that 90 percent of the guns recovered at crime scenes are sold by five percent of dealers. Really? C’mon, man, why aren’t these dealers being prosecuted and their licenses revoked, Joe? The next gem is the so-called “safe schools act” that was opposed by the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association when it was first introduced several years ago. Why? Because it did not exempt retired police officers as though they had some business carrying a gun in school. The bill was sloppily amended to permit not only […]

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