Town Councils Don’t Get to Cherry-Pick Which Laws to Follow

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Col. Lynch, rejected the 2A Resolution in Burrillville, stating “We execute on the law, period. When it comes to whether a law is unconstitutional, that is a non-factor for us.”

Towns open themselves up to liability if laws on the books are not enforced.

Existing and potential gun laws are enacted for the purpose of public safety; if laws are arbitrarily ignored towns and cities could face lawsuits.

Current RI Gun Laws and All 2019 Gun Bills Proposed by the Attorney General Neronha and Governor Raimondo are Constitutional

Supreme Court precedent is clearly on the side of reasonable checks on the right to bear arms, as all of our other rights are also limited to some extent.

Heller v. District of Columbia

In 2008, this U.S. Supreme Court decision established the right to own a handgun in the home or in your place of business if you are the owner, however, they made clear that reasonable restrictions are also constitutional:

“the right [to bear arms] was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose … nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions … or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools … or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

6 U.S. Courts of Appeal UPHOLD Bans on Assault Weapons/Large Capacity Magazines

Worman v. Healey, First Circuit, Massachusetts, Decided 04/05/2018 AND 04/26/2018
“In fact, when asked directly, not one of the plaintiffs or their six experts could identify even a single example of the use of an assault weapon for home self-defense, nor could they identify even a single example of a self-defense episode in which ten or more shots were fired.”

Kolbe v. Hogan, Fourth Circuit, Maryland, Decided 02/21/2017
Petition for certiorari denied by Supreme Court on 11/27/2017. Writ of certiorari is a document which a losing party files with the Supreme Court to review the decision of a lower court. It includes a list of the facts of the case, the legal questions presented for review, and arguments as to why the court should grant the writ.

NY State Rifle and Pistol Assoc. v. Town of Lancaster, NY, Second Circuit, Decided 10/19/2015

Friedman v. City of Highland Park, IL, Seventh Circuit, Decided 04/27/2015

Heller v. District of Columbia, DC Circuit, Decided 10/04/2011

Courts Upholding Restrictions on Concealed Carry

Silvester v. Becerra, California, Decided December 14, 2016
*Petition for certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court on February 20, 2018

Beron v. Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Board, Decided June 17, 2016

Peruta v. San Diego, Decided June 9, 2016
*Petition for certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2017

Bonidy v. U.S. Postal Service, Colorado, Decided July 7, 2015

Drake v. Filko, New Jersey, Decided July 31, 2013
*Petition for certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court on May 5, 2014

Peterson v. Martinez, Colorado, Decided February 22, 2013

NRA v. McCraw, Texas, Decided June 10, 2013
*Petition for certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court on February 24, 2014

Woollard v Gallagher, Maryland, Decided March 21, 2013
*Petition for certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court on October 15, 2013

Moore v. Madigan, Illinois, Decided December 11, 2012

A Dangerous Threat to the Rule of Law and Public Safety: “Second Amendment Sanctuary Towns”

Anyone who believes that equal protection under the law is the cornerstone of democracy should be concerned to see their town council members vowing they will not comply with or enforce state laws they don’t personally support.

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In the past year alone, dozens of states have passed common-sense gun safety laws, from enhanced background checks in Washington state to Rhode Island’s requirement that those convicted of domestic violence surrender their firearms to New Mexico and Nevada closing the unlicensed gun sale background check loophole. Our neighboring states, Massachusetts and Connecticut, New York all have laws in place to ban assault weapons, ban high capacity magazines and they do not allow unlicensed, untrained individuals with concealed carry permit to carry guns on their K-12 school properties. (These are the three laws we are advocating for in Rhode Island.)

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The Second Amendment does not create a right to own an assault weapon. The United States Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia vs Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and the Rhode Island Supreme Court in Mosby vs Devine, 851 A2nd 1031 (RI 2004) spoke to the rights of individuals under the 2nd Amendment and under the companion provision of the RI Constitution. The only right under the federal and state constitutions that has been found to exist is the right to possess a firearm at home for personal protection, and the right to possess a firearm at one’s owned place of business. Also, in the Heller case, Justice Scalia wrote: ‘Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment right is not unlimited…[The right is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatsoever purpose.

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None of the laws proposed by the Attorney General and Governor (the Assault Weapon Ban, High Capacity Magazine Ban, and Safe Schools Act) would not have the power to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens. None of these laws violate the constitution.

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Here is a blog post form Giffords addressing the issue in New Mexico.