CORRECTION (1:10 p.m., 1/12/19): Contrary to my original reading of this legislation, it does contain language making some provision for the transport of rifles and shotguns. A paragraph running longer than a page exempts various people (mostly law enforcement and military personnel) from its provisions. About three-quarters of the way through this paragraph, it exempts the “regular and/or ordinary transportation” of the weapons “as merchandise. The exemption also allows transportation of the weapons unloaded and either in a trunk or a locked container.
This language does make the following post overly aggressive. However, the bill is still deeply problematic. Not only does it further infringe on the rights of gun owners, but its exceptions have giant gaps. The allowable transport of firearms are very specific: from the place of purchase to home, back and forth to their place of business, or to sell it or have it repaired.
Notably, the exemption still doesn’t include transportation to any sort of shooting range, let alone simply carrying the weapon for the purpose of having it available. In short, the legislation would completely undermine a key purpose for enforcing the Second Amendment. It would limit the use of rifles and shotguns to sport (presumably) and protection of the home or place of business. Any use for the protection of one’s self or others in any other location would essentially be banned.
ORIGINAL POST (6:31 p.m. 1/8/19):
I see only three possibilities when it comes to legislation like H5022, which Democrat Representative Grace Diaz has already submitted for consideration. Either I’m missing something, the radicals are trying to sneak truly outrageous civil rights violations into law, or they just don’t read or think through the legislation they submit.
Here’s the new language the sponsors wish to insert into Rhode Island law:
No person shall carry a rifle or shotgun in any vehicle or conveyance or on or about the person whether visible or concealed, except in the persons dwelling house or place of business or on land possessed by the person. Every person violating the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten (10) years, or by a fine up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both, except on a first conviction under this section, the person shall not be eligible for a suspended or deferred sentence or probation. This subsection shall not apply to those persons engaged in lawful hunting activity as provided in chapter 13 of title 20, lawful target shooting within this state or otherwise exempt …
So here’s a question: How is a person who has purchased a rifle or shotgun supposed to get it on to his or her own land? There are no exceptions for transporting these firearms.
Again, either I’m missing something, some of our legislators are unable to foresee even the most obvious side effects of their proposals, or they aren’t side effects at all, and the legislators are hoping to slip unconstitutional language into law thanks to other people’s failure to pay attention or their belief that the sponsors couldn’t possibly mean what they’re saying.