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

June 7, 2024

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – 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 Senate for approving the House’s amendments to SB 2202/HB 7373, legislation that will require the secure storage of firearms, expanding and strengthening the current statewide firearm storage law yesterday. Now that this piece of legislation has passed through both chambers of the legislature, it will soon be sent to Governor Daniel McKee’s desk for signature, where he is expected to sign it next week. Yesterday’s victory came one day ahead of National Gun Violence Awareness Day today, which is the start of Wear Orange weekend.  

“This National Gun Violence Awareness Day, I can think of no better way to honor the countless survivors in Rhode Island than by passing a measure to prevent future instances of gun violence in our communities,” said Amy Herlihy, a volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We’ve seen the tragedies that can happen when children or unauthorized users get access to unsecured firearms, and we’re grateful that our lawmakers have finally passed a stronger secure storage measure to keep our communities safe. Once this measure hits Governor McKee’s desk, we urge him to sign it into law.” 

“With guns being the leading cause of death for people my age, we have been advocating for years for Rhode Island to strengthen the secure storage law to further protect us from the dangers of gun violence. Thanks to our lawmakers, now that has become a reality,” said Henry Schultz, a student leader with the Barrington High School Students Demand Action chapter. “This Wear Orange weekend, we remember victims and survivors of gun violence, and we’re grateful to our lawmakers for taking action in their honor by passing this bill. We look forward to seeing it signed into law so that it can start saving lives.” 

Advocates in Rhode Island have been on the frontlines fighting for a stronger secure storage law in the Ocean State for years, highlighting the lifesaving impact that these measures can have. Securely storing firearms protects both children and adults by reducing unauthorized access to guns, and can help prevent gun suicide, unintentional shootings, targeted school violence, and gun theft. 

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.

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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