Newport Backs Off

Alarms went up among Newport area second amendment supporters when Newport City Councilwoman Jeanne-Marie Napolitano introduced a resolution that, if passed, would have called on state and federal legislators and executives to implement all sorts of new gun control measures, including bans on high cap magazines (which the resolution called “high capacity magazine clips”), forcing gun shop owners to report large purchases of ammo to the ATF, universal background checks, and the entire laundry list of liberal gun control fantasies. You can read the entire resolution here if you’d like.

left to right- Marco T. Camacho, 1st Ward Councilor; Justin S. McLaughlin, 2nd Ward Councilor; Naomi L. Neville, Councilor-at-Large and Vice Chair; Henry F. Winthrop, Mayor; Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Councilor-at-Large; Kathryn E. Leonard, 3rd Ward Councilor; Michael T. Farley, Councilor-at-Large.

left to right- Marco T. Camacho, 1st Ward Councilor; Justin S. McLaughlin, 2nd Ward Councilor; Naomi L. Neville, Councilor-at-Large and Vice Chair; Henry F. Winthrop, Mayor; Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Councilor-at-Large; Kathryn E. Leonard, 3rd Ward Councilor; Michael T. Farley, Councilor-at-Large.

There was a great turnout by second amendment supporters who numbered well over two dozen, and a moderate turnout of the anti-gun crowd that probably was in the low to mid teens. After the normal city business was concluded the resolution was introduced. But before it went up for a vote councilwoman Napolitano introduced an amendment (I don’t have the text yet but will add it here when I can). The amendment watered down the resolution until essentially all that was left was a proposal to open a dialogue on keeping Newport safe and taking illegal guns off the streets. Acceptable language that basically encourages communication and enforcement of existing laws. Much improved when compared to the radical original resolution.

For those of you keeping score on who to vote for next election, these are my takeaways on each of the Newport City Council members.

Anti-Gun:

Jeanne-Marie Napolitano: Obviously since she introduced the radical resolution we can conclude she is not a fan of the second amendment.

Justin S. McLaughlin: Voiced his opposition to the landmark Heller case that affirmed the second amendment as an individual right.

Naomi L. Neville: Voiced support for the reinstitution of the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban.

Pro-Gun: 

Marco T. Camacho: Stressed his service to his country in the Army and the experiences that make him support the 2nd Amendment.

Kathryn E. Leonard: Announced that she’s a concealed weapons permit holder in three states and that she wouldn’t go along with the resolution unless it held language recognizing Rhode Islanders’ rights to bear arms under both the federal and state constitution, which the amended version does.

Michael T. Farley: Councilman Farley played his cards a bit closer to his chest, but sources tell me he’s pro second amendment, and that came through in his discussion of the resolution tonight.

Unsure:

Henry F. Winthrop: Mayor Winthrop didn’t voice his own opinion on the resolution. Newport sources tell me he’s somewhat conservative, but if you have a different view please send it in to me for educational purposes.

Takeaways:

It seemed also that once e-mails and phone calls started coming in to the council members, perhaps a few of them who might have voted for the resolution decided that toning down the language would be smart. Councilwoman Neville alluded to as much.