Around New England

RI Town Declares Itself “Sanctuary City” — For Gun Ownership

April 26, 2019

The Burrillville (RI) Town Council voted unanimously Wednesday to declare itself a “sanctuary” for the protection of gun rights.

According to the Providence Journal (ProJo) a resolution proposed by Republican councilor Donald A. Fox is a way of “pushing back against the progressive wing’s campaign” to restrict and abridge citizens’ Second Amendment rights.

The ProJo reports:

‘“I’m taking the sanctuary city status that’s been used by progressives and liberals around this country” and turning it on its head, Fox said. “We’re thumbing our nose at the federal government. We’re no longer going to be used as a punching bag for the left, for the anti-gun movement.

“Every spring, I have to put on my yellow vest and defend the rights that are afforded to me under the Constitution,” he said. “I finally got tired of it. Maybe it’s time for the town to take a stand.”’

The Burrillville Town Council said that it would allow the town’s police department to “exercise sound discretion when enforcing laws impacting the rights of citizens under the Second Amendment.”

Gun-control advocates, the ProJo also reports, are not impressed: the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) stated the Burrillville councilors “misunderstood” the laws regarding gun control, and even failed to understand the Second Amendment.

“The police don’t have discretion over which laws they enforce,” said Linda Finn, executive director of RICAGV. “It’s important to note that the Second Amendment does not allow unfettered access to firearms.”

A statement issued by RICAGV further criticized President Donald Trump, saying that the “term sanctuary city, should not be used lightly. In a time when our nation’s executive is using his administration’s power to threaten our most vulnerable communities, becoming a sanctuary city is a municipal tool” to protect immigrants from deportation,“or worse,” the ProJo writes.

According to the ProJo, the Burrillville resolution also states the town will not fund any additional space or storage for any weapons seized by police should the state government legislate the seizure of semi-automatic weapons (so-called “assault” weapons) or “high-capacity” magazines or firearms. 

Burrillville is located in the northwest corner of Rhode Island and borders Connecticut and Massachusetts. Per the 2010 US Census, Burrillville has a population of approximately 16,000.

According to the Burrillville town website, the 7-member town council consists of 6 men and 1 woman. 

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