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Rhode Island Is Adding New Gun Provisions

Posted by Ken Barrett | Jan 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Rhode Island legislature is again looking to tighten the already restrictive state laws regarding firearms. This involves using “bump stocks,” which attach to semi-automatic firearms that can increase the firing rate close to that of fully automatic weapons. The rifle's standard stock is replaced, allowing the weapon to move back and forth much more rapidly. Current state laws do not specifically address these accessories, and it is presently legal to purchase them. It appears, however, the state legislature is again poised to impose additional firearms restrictions on residents. Representative Robert Craven sponsored 2018-H 7075 that prohibits the use of bump stocks with semi-automatic weapons. Some of the provisions of this bill and what they mean are explained below.

Increases in Capacity

It is estimated that modifications to guns using devices like the bump stock are capable of allowing some rifles to fire about 90 shots in just over 10 seconds. To compare, an AR-15 type rifle is capable of 24 shots in a period of 9 seconds. Rhode Island law prohibits modifications to semi-automatic weapons for this purpose. The provisions in Representative Craven's bill goes one step further by effectively and unequivocally banning the sale or possession of bump stocks or like devices. These restrictions include transporting, manufacturing, or shipping bump stocks and carry harsh penalties of up to five years in prison and $15,000 in fines

Gun Permits & Machine Guns

Rhode Island law 11-47-8 states that carrying or having a pistol or revolver in a vehicle requires a permit or license, unless upon your own land or place of business. An exception exists for those with an out-of-state permit or license that are merely traveling through the state without any intent to remain. The law further prohibits manufacturing, selling, or possessing a machine gun. Violators may face penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine without the possibility of suspended or deferred sentencing.

Rapid-Fire Devices

The states provisions within 11-47-8.1 prohibit manufacturing, selling or possessing rapid-fire (automatic) weapons or components and accessories associated with them. Violators may face between one and ten years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000 without the possibility of suspended or deferred sentencing. The law also states it is unlawful to modify a semi-automatic weapon for rapid-fire (automatic) capabilities. Weapons found modified in such as manner are subject to forfeiture.

Firearms & Crime

Rhode Island law 11-47-3.2 outlines very significant penalties for using firearms in an attempt to or during the commission of a violent crime. First-time offenders face a prison sentence of 10 years with a standard weapon or 30 years if committed with a machine gun. For second-time offenders, these penalties increase to 20 years or a life sentence if committed with a machine gun. If during the commission of a criminal act, a person is injured by the discharging of a firearm, the minimum prison sentence is 20 years and increases to a life sentence if the person is a member of law enforcement who is on-duty.

If you are a gun owner or gun enthusiast and live in Rhode Island, you need to be aware of this new bill, especially if it passes. Though most of you likely don't possess bump stocks, this bill scratches away at your right to own and possess guns. But if you do own one and are unaware of this new bill, you may find yourself in trouble with the law one day in the future.

About the Author

Ken Barrett

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney If youve been arrested on a criminal charge in Rhode Island, you need the right criminal defense attorney. Contact us today to learn how we can help. No matter what criminal charge you are facing, having the right lawyer can make all the difference in reg...

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Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.

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