Burrillville council reaffirms town’s status as ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary,’ opposes gun control bills


BURRILLVILLE – With nearly a dozen bills before the Rhode Island General Assembly that aim to limit public access to firearms and ammunition, Burrillville Town Councilors reaffirmed their opposition to gun control legislation last month, voting unanimously on a resolution again dubbing the town a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”

The vote mirrored action first taken in 2019 in opposition to state legislation councilors said is not in the best interest of Burrillville residents. The latest resolution restating the position lists several bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate.

Among them is Senate 2704, which would give the state attorney general sole authority to issue conceal carry permits and require a national criminal background check for such permits, also repealing provisions that currently allow minors to carry firearms.

House bill 7300 would make it a violation in Rhode Island to store or leave a firearm unsecured, punishable by a fine of $3,000. If a child is injured or killed as a result, the owner could face felony charges and up to five years in jail.

Senate bill 2734 would make it an automatic felony to store firearms unlocked, and Senate 2637 would increase the age for legal purchase of guns from 18 to 21, a change also proposed in companion legislation in the House.

House 7664 and Senate 2733 would disqualify individuals with prior convictions of possession of a firearm without a license from legally purchasing a gun, and House 6616 would prohibit the sale or transfer of ammunition by anyone who has not undergone a background check.

Additional legislation aims to eliminate semi-automatic weapons, and one bill, Senate 2224, would ban all possession of assault weapons.

All of the bills were heard before the judiciary committees in the respective chambers in late March, and held for further study.

Councilor Donald Fox, who brought the issue before the council in 2019, also requested the discussion in April.

“The General Assembly, as always, is looking to erode gun owner rights by death by a thousand cuts,” Fox said. “It’s my intent to once again call attention to the erosion of our Second Amendment rights.”

Councilors passed the resolution with little discussion.

“We find and declare that these gun restriction bills, if enacted by the Rhode Island General Assembly, infringe upon the rights of the people of the town of Burrillville and the people of the state of Rhode Island to keep and bear arms,” it states. “We are collectively opposed to the infringement of these rights established by our founding fathers.”

The resolution was forwarded to members of the General Assembly, as well as other Rhode Island cities and towns, requesting support.

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  1. Not one comment here addresses the laws in question, and not one of them will take individual guns away. In fact, these laws are intended to curtail gun violence before some one accumulates an arsenal like the gentleman who was “handled”. In fact, he would have been on BPD’s radar a lot sooner if the laws intended are passed. Eighty percent of US citizens—who are patriots, too—want common sense gun laws. It’s time the duly elected officials in this town do what’s right for everyone, not just those in the thrall of the NRA, which essentially laundered over 6 million dollars to support the prior GOP president.

    • Is it your position that “Banning possession of assault weapons” doesn’t take individual rights away?

      -Bill Senate 2704, I do not agree that local police chiefs should not have the right to authorize conceal carry permits and it should live solely with the AG. Burrillville already requires background checks in addition to FBI fingerprints. What’s the difference, politics and bureaucracy?

      -bill 7300, their description is incorrect. The bill is punishable by a $5,000 fine which is excessive. I also don’t agree that the provision should be removed regarding reasonable expectations if children should not be and are not on your property.

      -bill 2734, includes a provision to say that it is unlawful to keep your weapon on your person as the lawful owner while on your own property and thus is not stored / locked. This i disagree with wholeheartedly.

      – bill 2637, if you have a permit, have passed the appropriate background checks and testing requirements, you should be able to own a weapon legally regardless if you’re 16 or 18. This bill would not have stopped the crazy nut in Burrillville if it was passed, right?

      -house 7664 I agree with.

      -house 6616 I disagree with. Forcing people to get approval from the government to purchase ammunition is too far. Why is that necessary?

      -senate 2224 is an overreach. You have criminals running around with 30 round mags but our senators want to prevent law abiding citizens from owning their own? No thanks. I can’t agree with that.

      All in all, a majority of these need to be debated and should not be rubber stamped. The man in Burrillville would have found a way to break the law which is the entire point. Criminals do not care about what laws are passed. I’d like to understand the intended impact of each of these, you can’t just say “this is common sense.”

  2. One person breaking weapons laws shouldn’t define the rest of law-abiding firearms owners. Just as drunk drivers shouldn’t define the rest of the people who drink responsibly. With that logic, all alcohol should be banned. That was tried during prohibition. Twenty five states now are constitutional carry states, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. No permit needed to carry a handgun, as long as you aren’t a felon. The last time I checked, there hasn’t been a single incident involving someone carrying for self defense purposes in these states. “Gun violence” is a buzz term to try to scare the populace, when we all know where the majority of violence occurs…inner city neighborhoods, Providence being an example. 2% of U.S. counties have 51% of all murders in this country (crimeresearch.org). I applaud Burrillville for standing up for our self defense rights. Hopefully, other towns will follow suit. Remember, the desired end result of continuously encroaching gun restrictions is the eventual banning of ALL firearms. Don’t for a minute, think otherwise.

  3. I guess one person owning over two hundred guns isn’t enough in our town; TC has got to reassert the right to keep buying guns. Meanwhile, in the real world, responsible adults want to curb gun violence, thankfully.

    • As a responsible adult, what do you propose as the solution to curb gun violence? Banning good guys from defending themselves, their homes, their families? I’m genuinely asking what you think the solution is.

      I remember listening to police scanners in 2020 hoping rioters didn’t show up at my door. I heard choppers heading into Providence overhead. I spent that summer with neighbors in Lincoln who found gun shells in their lawn off of Smithfield Ave. Responsible/lawful gun owners don’t go shooting in heavily populated suburban areas.

      The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and I’m incredibly thankful the town council is fighting back against these unconstitutional bills that ban firearms.

      Outlawing the ability for law abiding citizens to own firearms does not stop gun violence. Banning guns does not stop gun violence. This guy was dealt with.

      “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.”
      – Frederick Douglass


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