Tips and Information about testifying for and against the gun bills scheduled to be heard on March 18th, 2014
RI Gun Blog has teamed up with several volunteers to setup a room to assist you day of. Go to Room 135 if you have questions, need assistance or want someone to help proofread or edit your testimony. We’re here to help !
1. This is an official hearing of the House Judiciary committee. The date, time and bills listed for consideration are set by the House of Representatives, we have no control of this.
2. This is the ONE opportunity we as citizens have to speak against the bills listed for consideration at this hearing. There will be other hearings including Senate hearings for different bills, but this is the one chance for the bills currently listed for consideration on Tuesday.
3.There will be a pro gun rally at the North entrance of the RI State House at 3 pm. There will also be a non-violence rally at 3:30 pm inside the State House Rotunda, do not interfere. You will have the opportunity to testify against bills in the hearing room, NOT in loud hallway debate. The media will be there looking to capture any confrontations that could be used against us. Immediately following the rally we are asking all gun rights supporters to go to the House of Representatives gallery(balconies). Rep. Costa will we announcing us ! Don’t be afraid to cheer or yell out the district you live in, let these reps know who is watching them. To find your district click here, enter your street address. On the result page scroll down to the bottom under district info–> REPRESENTATIVE, you will find your district number.
4. Sign up sheets to testify will be available around 2:30 ish at Room 101 which is also the hearing room. Come early if you want to avoid waiting for hours to testify. The hearing will start roughly 4pm-5pm as the time is based on the “Rise of the House”
5. Dress for the State House – No camo or gun related clothing. The yellow buttons from last year are appropriate. We have to convey that we are regular everyday citizens, not plants form the NRA or some other outside source like the media likes to portray. I was originally planning to wear a shirt and tie but instead will wear a long sleeve t-shirt with the company I work for on it. We are tax paying, productive members of our community and should be seen as such.
6. This will be a long night. Prepare for it. I will be posting my personal State House “tactical GO Bag” over the weekend to show how I roll out. If you need to take medications on a specific schedule make sure to bring them. I recommend packing snacks, water, a notepad and pen, cell phone charger, copies of the bills proposed, copies of your testimony and a camera. The State House is a beautiful building and is often overlooked by the task at hand. Take some time to explore the artwork around you.
7. We encourage everyone to come early to signup to testify but understand that some obstacles cannot be avoided. If you cannot come early or stay waiting to testify you can sign in to support or oppose bills throughout the night, and submit written testimony. I will be posting updates on our Facebook page during the night if any room changes or rules changes. Pay attention, it may be possible to put the kids to bed and still join us at the State House. We are the bricks and mortar building a wall against tyranny. Every piece counts !
8. Testimonies are historical cut short. The committee will most likely limit speakers to 60-90 seconds to get a point across. We recommend having a “High Cap” testimony prepared. Do not come with one long drawn out testimony that switches between bills. Bring multiple short 1 page testimonies that focus on 1 bill each. If the you see that specific bill been beaten like a dead horse use a different one in your bag of tricks. The three speakers before you could all speak on behalf of an “Assault Weapon” ban. Reach into your testimonies and oppose them with a thought out and prepared rebuttal, do not attempt to “wing it”. If on the odd chance you are allotted 2 minutes to testify you can easily stack the deck and pick two of your testimonies. You can submit them all in written form, you are not limited to just the one you speak on.
9. Submitting written testimony can be done rather easily. Bring a copies to give away and the secretary will submit them for you. The secretary will also make copies but hearing nights can become backed up easily so you are better having copies prepared when you arrive. The committee has 13 members.
RI Gun Blog will be at the State House most of the night, introduce yourself if you see either Tim Jones, or Adam Scott. Thanks for joining the battle