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Rhode Island House Passes Lifesaving Legislation to Require Secure Storage of Firearms, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Respond 

May 28, 2024

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, the Rhode Island chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements applauding the Rhode Island House for passing lifesaving legislation to require the secure storage of firearms, expanding and strengthening the current statewide firearm storage law, SB 2202/HB 7373. Now that this measure has passed both chambers of the legislature with amendments, it will go back to the Senate for approval before being sent to Governor Daniel McKee’s desk for signature. 

“Today is a victory for gun violence prevention in Rhode Island and the safety of our communities who have been demanding a stronger secure storage law for years,” said Patti Alley, a volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are grateful to our lawmakers for passing this lifesaving measure to ensure that firearms are stored securely whenever they are not in the person’s immediate possession or control. We know that this measure can save lives, and we hope that Governor McKee will join our gun sense champions by signing it into law once it hits his desk.” 

“A stronger and more extensive secure storage measure has been long overdue in Rhode Island, and we’re grateful that our lawmakers have finally come together to advance this bill,” said Caleb Schultz, a volunteer leader with the Brown University chapter of Students Demand Action. “We’ve seen the deadly consequences when firearms aren’t stored securely – especially in my generation now that firearms are the number one cause of death for children. This measure will save lives, and we hope that Governor McKee will sign it into law so that we can make our communities safer.”

SB 2202/HB 7373 will strengthen and expand Rhode Island’s current firearm storage law by requiring all gun owners to securely store their guns when not in use, either in a locked container  or with a safety device that prevents unauthorized access. It would also require gun dealers to both post signs and give information to people who purchase guns about secure storage, suicide prevention, and Rhode Island’s gun safety laws, and it would require school districts to give similar information to students and their families. Implementation and education regarding how to securely store firearms is critical to ensuring that this life saving tool against gun violence is utilized properly and often. 

In an average year, 48 people die by guns in Rhode Island and another 119 are wounded by guns. 60 percent of gun deaths are by firearm suicide in Rhode Island. Gun violence costs Rhode Island $752.1 million each year, of which $15.8 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Rhode Island is available here

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