Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee is expected to a sign a bill that will ban the sale of guns and ammunition to individuals under the age of 18. The bill was recently passed by the state legislature.
Democratic Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin sponsored the bill in the state’s Senate, while Democratic State Rep. Teresa Tanzi sponsored the House version of the legislation.
In addition, the state legislature passed another bill that will ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The Rhode Island gun control measures — which passed Tuesday night — are expected to be signed into law by Governor McKee.
“High-capacity magazines have no legitimate purpose for hunting or self-defense,” Democratic committee Chair Sen. Cynthia Coyne said in a statement. “They enable shooters to unleash torrents of bullets and inflict maximum harm in mere seconds, making them a tool of the trade for mass shootings, drug trafficking and gang violence.”
Under the bill, those who already own large-capacity magazines or weapons will have 180 days to permanently alter them so they comply with the law, surrender them to police, or sell them to buyers in places where they remain legal. Law enforcement and military personnel are exempted.
“This is rather breathtaking,” the Rhode Island Republican Party said of the gun control measures. “In just a few months, tens of thousands of Rhode Island gun owners could become felons. Never have so many law-abiding citizens been put at risk for jail time since the days of Prohibition when possession of alcohol was a crime.”
Another bill will prohibit the sale of rifles and shotguns to anyone under the age of 21. Young adults in that age range are already prohibited from purchasing handguns.
“It is well-settled science that teenage and post-teenage brains are still developing,” Democratic Sen. Maryellen Goodwin said in a statement. “It’s common sense that we shouldn’t be selling lethal weapons to people who we’ve decided are not old enough to buy cigarettes or beer.”
A similar ban young adult gun ban was recently ruled unconstitutional in California.