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Three gun reform bills were approved by the Rhode Island Senate on Tuesday night, including a controversial one that limits guns to just 10 rounds per magazine, prompting an outburst from Second Amendment supporters in the gallery of the bedroom.
“Vote for them,” shouted onlookers, WLNE reported. The disruption prompted Senate President Dominick Ruggerio to order security to clear the gallery, according to the report.
The bills seek to raise the age for buying firearms and ammunition to 21, from 18, while another prohibits people from carrying guns and shotguns. The Senate voted 31 to 5 on those measures, WLNE reported.
A more controversial measure, which limits the size of magazines in the state to just 10 rounds, was passed more narrowly but still cleared the 21-11 chamber, according to the report.
Legislation is just one hurdle away from becoming law.
The controversial magazine bill was pushed through the House via an ‘immediate consideration’ procedure after a version of it failed to clear the state Senate Judiciary Committee during a a 6-6 tie vote, WLNE reported.
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After the Senate version of the bill stalled in committee, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey used emergency procedure to skip committee consideration and put it to a floor vote. , where two-thirds of the chamber then had to approve it, WLNE reported.
The bills come after the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, and ten years after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that left 26 people dead in nearby Newtown, Connecticut.
Democratic supporters of the bill welcomed the passage and said the bills could prevent mass shootings in their state.
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“We’re not taking anyone right now,” Sen. Lou DiPalma (D-Middletown) said during a debate on the bill, WLNE reported.
“We don’t want to wait here for a mass shooting to happen in Rhode Island,” Sen. Cynthia Coyne (D-Barrington) added, according to the report.
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Some Republicans and Democrats have argued that the bills violate the rights of law-abiding citizens.
“My image of this chamber is tarnished after the way we got here tonight,” Sen. Gordon Rogers (R-Foster) said, citing the unique procedure, WLNE reported.
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“The problem here is that we are taking a path that I believe will cause great harm to all of our law-abiding citizens,” said Sen. Lou Raptakis (D-Coventry).
The bills were approved by the House on Friday evening and will now head to Governor Dan McKee’s office, where they are expected to be signed.
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