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Rhode Island State Senator Pam Lauria and State Representative Justine Caldwell, Former Moms Demand Action Leaders, Named the 2024 Demand a Seat Lawmakers of Year 

June 21, 2024

Demand a Seat Lawmakers of the Year Awarded to Senator Lauria and Rep. Caldwell for Their Leadership on Gun Violence Prevention

NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety named Rhode Island State Senator Pam Lauria and State Representative Justine Caldwell, both former Moms Demand Action volunteers, as the 2024 Demand a Seat Lawmakers of the Year for their unwavering leadership on gun safety.

“When Rhode Island lawmakers wouldn’t improve the child access protection law on the books, former Moms Demand Action leaders Pam Lauria and Justine Caldwell didn’t get discouraged — they got elected,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Moms Demand Action leaders have a well-earned reputation for going above and beyond to pass common-sense gun safety laws, and no one embodies that more than Sen. Lauria and Rep. Caldwell.” 

“Senator Pam Lauria and State Representative Justine Caldwell have accomplished something incredible by championing and passing a lifesaving secure storage bill that many thought impossible,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Their success shows just how powerful our movement can be when volunteers run for office, win, and make real change happen. We’re incredibly proud of these Moms Demand Action leaders for their tireless efforts in making Rhode Island safer.”

“After years of advocating for a secure storage law in Rhode Island, it became possible in 2024 thanks to the support of our bill sponsors and gun sense champions, State Senator Pam Lauria, and State Representative Justine Caldwell. Both are examples of why we vote for gun sense candidates – because they get stuff done,” said Tony Morettini, a volunteer with the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Secure firearm storage is one of the most critical tools that we have to keep firearms out of the hands of children and prevent unintentional shootings. Thanks to their leadership, now Rhode Island has a strong secure firearm storage law on the books that will do just that.”  

Elected for the first time in 2022, Sen. Lauria is a former Rhode Island Moms Demand Action volunteer leader and Demand a Seat graduate. Rep Caldwell is also a former Moms Demand Action volunteer and was first elected to office in 2018. Both have been strong gun safety champions since their elections to office. 

Demand a Seat Lawmaker of the Year celebrates the leadership of volunteers who have taken their advocacy to the next level by running for office and becoming champions for life-saving gun safety policies. Moms Demand Action volunteers-turned-elected-officials have gone from advocating for gun safety to legislating on it – not only voting on behalf of gun safety policies, but leading the way on their creation and passage.

Sponsored by State Senator Pam Lauria and State Representative Justine Caldwell, Rhode Island passed the strongest secure storage law in the country. It was signed into law this past Thursday  by Governor Dan McKee. Both Senator Lauria and Representative Caldwell are former leaders in the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action. 

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. The Ocean State ranks number 13 nationally in gun law strength, but experiences one of the lowest gun death rates. 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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