House Bill 5510 Would Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse; Bill Now Heads to Senate
Moms Demand Action Volunteers Have Worked Tirelessly for Three Straight Years to Pass the Legislation
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, praised members of the Rhode Island House of Representatives for passing House Bill 5510 last night. The bill was passed after years of grassroots activity by the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi, passed the house by a vote of 55-12 and now moves to the Senate.
“Speaker Mattiello, Rep. Teresa Tanzi, and our state representatives deserve real credit for moving forward with this important legislation,” said Jennifer Boylan, a volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has fought tirelessly for this bill for three straight years and now it is time for the state Senate to follow the House’s lead and take this life-saving legislation across the finish line.”
Under current Rhode Island law, abusers convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes and abusers who are subject to final restraining orders are not always prohibited from possessing guns nor are they always required to surrender their firearms once they become prohibited. According to research by Everytown for Gun Safety, only five percent of domestic abusers under a final protection from abuse order in Rhode Island are required to turn in their guns. House Bill 5510 would close these loopholes by requiring that these abusers are prohibited and required to turn in their guns once they become prohibited from possessing them.
“By passing House Bill 5510, Speaker Mattiello and Majority Leader Joe Sherkarchi have shown real leadership. They listened to the thousands of Rhode Islanders who have contacted them and the brave survivors who have testified in support of this bill,” said Amy Herlihy, another volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action.
Volunteers from the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action started working on domestic-violence prevention legislation during the 2015 legislative session. They testified at numerous hearings, coordinated large digital campaigns, relentlessly lobbied state legislators and wrote countless letters and op-eds for newspapers throughout the Ocean State.