AFL-CIO Pushing RI Assault Weapon Ban, Mandatory Storage Law – Bearing Arms

AFL-CIO Pushing RI Assault Weapon Ban, Mandatory Storage Law – Bearing Arms

The state of Rhode Island is one of those states that doesn’t get the attention it deserves as anti-gun locales goes. In a lot of ways, it’s worse than many we’d label as anti-gun without even blinking.

But there are still some gun control laws not on the books there.

Among them is an assault weapon ban as well as there being no mandatory storage law on the books.

Yeah, I’m kind of surprised, truth be told, considering how ridiculous it is to be able to buy a firearm in the first place, but that’s apparently how it goes there.

Now, I wasn’t aware of these facts until very recently. I only learned about the because, of course, they’re trying to pass both measures.

The battle began anew Thursday for an assault-weapons ban and safe-storage requirements for firearms, with organized labor taking a lead role in the 2024 election-year drive.

The assault-weapons ban may still be a tough sell.

But this year 28 out of the 38 state senators have co-sponsored the companion bill to require the locked storage of guns that was born of avoidable Rhode Island tragedies, including the 2022 shooting death of a Johnston teenager at the hands of a friend showing off his uncle’s unlocked guns.

“Too many American tragedies – suicides, unintentional shootings involving children, mass shootings – start with someone getting their hands on someone else’s gun without permission. My bill would give gun owners a stronger incentive to take common-sense precautions that make gun ownership safer,” said Rep. Justine Caldwell, the lead sponsor of the House version of the safe-storage bill in a statement about it.

“We know that 70-80% of school shootings, unintended shootings and suicides by children are from unsecured firearms at home or a known family member or friend,” echoed the lead Senate sponsor, Pam Lauria.

We already know all the supposed arguments for an assault weapon ban, pathetic as they are, but why is a labor union getting involved?

I mean, we know the unions typically lean leftward with their organization’s politics, but why get involved in measures that, for the most part, focus on what goes on in people’s homes?

Oh, well, they have the most ridiculous justification humanly possible.

“The same dark-money forces that fund anti-union politicians also fund the gun lobby,” said Crowley, citing national accounts of NRA activities.

“But gun violence is a worker-safety issue, which makes it a union issue, and that’s why the Rhode Island AFL-CIO supports these important bills,” Crowley said at a State House news conference co-sponsored by the National Education Association Rhode Island and others backing the renewed push by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICGV) for gun safety legislation.

So, apparently, because workers are involved, it’s a union issue.

The problem with Crowley’s argument is that gun control doesn’t make people safer. Even if mandatory storage laws worked perfectly, they can also make it harder for union members to access their lawfully owned firearm in the case of an emergency. That would reduce worker safety by this reckoning. 

But it also is unlikely that, even if it worked perfectly and kept guns out of the hands of everyone who isn’t supposed to have access, union members would see any difference in their workplaces. After all, those who “benefit” from the supposedly easy access to an unsecured gun versus a secured one aren’t likely to be working at union jobs. They’re not old enough in most cases.

What’s more, there’s no evidence that really shows that an assault weapon ban or anything of the sort makes people safer, either.

So, across the board, the AFL-CIO has inserted their opinions in something that they really don’t understand and don’t really belong. Sure, they have a right to think what they wish, but this isn’t a worker safety issue anymore than me using the restroom is a national security issue.

They’d have been better served staying out of this one.

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