The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, held their third annual lobby day last Wednesday to speak to their representatives and senators about The Protect Rhode Island Families Act, which would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Moms Demand is a member organization of Everytown for Gun Safety.
“Domestic violence in America is to a significant degree a problem of gun violence,” said Jennifer Boylan of Moms Demand, “Over the past twenty-five years, more intimate partner homicides within the US have been committed with guns than with all other weapons combined… We know that this common sense legislation has tremendous support among Rhode Islanders. We know that 80 percent of Rhode Islanders support changing our laws so that a person convicted of domestic violence or a person subject to a domestic violence protective order cannot buy or possess a gun.”
Representative Teresa Tanzi (Democrat, District 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown), who sponsored the bill, thanked Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello (Democrat, Disrict 15, Cranston) for his “outspoken support in favor of taking action on this issue, this problem, that we have in our state.” Senator Harold Metts (Democrat, District 6, Providence) is the sponsor of the legislation on the Senate side.
Giovanna Rodriguez, of SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships), spoke movingly of her own experience with domestic violence and guns.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Dean Hoxsie, president of the RI Police Chiefs Association (RIPCA), Sydney Montstream-Quas of the RICAGV (Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence) and Reverend Eugene Dyszlewski also spoke at the press conference.
Adter the press conference coalition members went to the House and Senate floors, where they interacted with their elected representatives, explaining why this issue is of such importance.