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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Council Leader Calls for Citywide Ban on Semi-Automatic Firearms

Council Majority Leader Seth Yurdin is calling for a citywide ban on all types of semi-automatic firearms, and is urging state lawmakers to give Providence the legislative ability to prohibit them.

Yurdin said that while the deadly shooting in Newtown, Connecticut has reignited the national debate about gun control, “Gun violence has been a plague on our communities for decades.” Yurdin noted that, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports, there were 8,582 homicides using firearms in the United States in 2011, representing two-thirds of all murders last year.

Furthermore, Yurdin said, the FBI report indicates that between 2010 and 2011, 21 homicides by firearms occurred in Rhode Island.

“The sole purpose of semi-automatic firearms is for use on the battlefield, not for use in our homes, on our streets, or in our schools.”

Yurdin said that he would push for a ban on all types of semi-automatic firearms, including rifles with multiple-shot clips, and all rifles that allow the user to pull the trigger to repeat fire automatically. He said the ban also would apply to handguns such as semi-automatic pistols like Glocks and Sigs. Bolt-action hunting rifles, revolvers and shotguns would be permitted.

Yurdin noted that current law provides the State preemption on gun control. The Council last year passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to approve a bill that would give cities and towns the authority to regulate gun sale, ownership, possession, and use, but the bill was held for further study. Yurdin and Council President Michael A. Solomon sent a letter to the sponsors of those bills, asking that they introduce the legislation again in the 2013 session.

“Banning semi-automatic firearms is a public safety imperative,” said Yurdin. “We cannot wait for another tragedy, another senseless loss of life, before we act.”

--Letter and 2012 legislation attached--