In an interview from January 18, Governor Chafee shows his hand on his plans for gun control (not that we didn’t already know where he stood!). He wants to make Rhode Island’s gun laws as “progressive” as our neighboring states. Perhaps those of you in Massachusetts and Connecticut can tell us how you feel about your gun laws in the comments section below.
Word is that the next big push for gun control will come directly from the governor’s office. That’s a much greater threat than a freshmen representative from Middletown (Rep. Linda Finn). The governor will get much more media attention and much more support from outside the state (remember who his friends are, founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Michael Bloomberg, and gun control advocate in chief, President Barack Obama), forcing some legislators who quietly supported the second amendment to kill H5573 to switch sides for their political future.
Watch the video below. Chafee seems to believe that the second amendment exists solely for hunting rights. He says a renewal of the assault weapons ban and closing of the gun show “loophole” are overdue. He also talks about what a great job Colonel O’Donnell is doing (Yup, this Colonel O’Donnell who helps WPRI conflate automatic and semi-automatic weapons to push for gun control-in uniform no less). Apparently the Colonel is out comparing Rhode Island’s gun laws to our neighbors to see how he can further restrict the rights of the state’s residents. (Oath Keepers, can you please remind us all of the oath the Colonel took to protect the constitution in the comments section, and e-mail it to the Colonel to remind him? email@example.com).
Rhode Island gun owners will now be fighting the most powerful forces in the state, the governor and the state police. We easily defeated a first term representative who was used as a stooge by the anti-gun lobby in Providence to flush us out, but the real fight is still to come. Are you ready?
Relevant part of the interview starts at 22:07.
Tim White: Let me bring up, you mentioned, you said the darkest day perhaps of last year was the Newtown shootings in Connecticut. And You said you want to talk with, begin speaking with legislative leaders about whether there are changes that can be made to Rhode Island’s laws, sounds like around guns and perhaps in other areas to address what we saw in Newtown. Have you had any of those discussion yet or do have any sense of where you’d be looking at where Rhode Island would make changes?
Governor Chafee: Yes right away we started to compare Rhode Island gun laws and I made the false assumption that we were really on the progressive side of gun laws and when we really looked at it we haven’t been, we’re lagging behind our neighbors on some of our gun safety legislation and Colonel O’Donnell’s been terrific getting out front on this, colonel of the state police, in comparing us to our neighboring states, waiting laws and assault clips and the like. And so we’re having good discussions now.
Ted Nesi: And what changes do you want to see specifically in the state.
Governor Chafee: That’s a good question. We really want to do our homework, Tim on this. And see where, compare our laws with other states and with the national, I’ve been on the phones with the other governors with Vice President Biden, all the governors had a tele-call with the vice president discussing this. Whether it’s violence coming that’s out of hollywood, the big discussion of what’s causing this rash of mass murders.
Ted Nesi: How about your take on this as a former senator?
Governor Chafee: Assault guns as a senator, I was firmly on the gun safety side.
Ted Nesi: But the president wants to get rid of assault rifles and high capacity ammunition clips, you know, your take as a former U.S. senator, what are the chances that he’ll be able to get that through Congress and how strong is the gun lobby down there?
Governor Chafee: When I was in the Senate there were two big pieces of legislation, the assault gun ban which I favored which then expired and closing the gun show loophole. There are no waiting periods if you go to a travelling gun show, you just show up and buy a gun, because they keep moving, they say they can’t have the paperwork to have the waiting period at a gun show, you can buy them there at the gun show, and so I wanted to close that loophole. And it was tough even back then under President Clinton, it was one of his priorities and I was on the right side I believe on both those issues and now they’re coming back and it’s overdue.
Arlene Violet: Do you support President Obama’s proposals on gun control?
Governor Chafee: Well Tim was asking why is it taking so long, the second amendment advocates are saying, this is why ban assault gun who needs an assault gun with a heavy magazine clip? They think this is an erosion, the start of an erosion of their second amendment rights we just have to say no it’s not, we just have to come together on this. It’s common sense.
Arlene Violet: So the President is on the right side of the issue?
Governor Chafee: Absolutely.
Ted Nesi: And what do you think his chances are?
Governor Chafee: What hunter needs an assault gun?
Ted Nesi: What do you think his chances are?
Governor Chafee: I’ll tell you, my experience is, and seeing what the NRA is doing now, they don’t want to be at the table. Part of this discussion which is just common sense, it’s not easy, we have some tough states out there. I remember even New England, the Vermont and Maine senators were not easy to get on gun safey, because they’re are big hunting states, big gun states, West Virginia too.