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Friday, July 6, 2018

RI Leaders Back Langevin Legislation to Hold Irresponsible Gun Dealers Accountable

Elected officials and local advocates call on Congress to stem the tide of gun violence

Related imageRepresentative Jim Langevin (D-RI) joined his congressional delegation colleagues Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, and other local leaders to urge Congress to address the nation’s gun violence epidemic and pass the Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act.

This is legislation Langevin introduced on June 12 with Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Gwen Moore (D-WI).

“The Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act targets the few bad-acting gun dealers that are the source of the vast majority of crime guns,” said Langevin. “These bad actors are key contributors to the nationwide gun violence epidemic, and we must increase accountability measures to curb illegal sales.”

Recent reporting in The New York Times indicated that federal law enforcement agents have been unable to sanction repeat offending gun dealers due to ambiguity in gun licensing regulations. 

By increasing gun dealer auditing and providing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with clear enforcement mechanisms, this legislation will help prevent illegal gun sales and hinder the “lie-and-buy” schemes that we have seen recently in Rhode Island.

“A small number of rogue gun dealers are responsible for many of the guns that end up in the wrong hands,” said Whitehouse. “Congressman Langevin is a tireless advocate for commonsense gun safety, and I am proud to cosponsor the Senate version of his legislation to crack down on illegal gun sales and help prevent senseless violence.” 

“Every single day, 318 people are shot with a gun. 96 of those people will die. And 222 of them will have their lives forever changed. This doesn’t happen in other countries,” said Cicilline. 

“We need a comprehensive solution that keeps guns away from criminals, children, and those with serious mental illness; that stops the sale of assault weapons; and that addresses gun violence with the seriousness that we would any other public health epidemic.”

“Many of the guns that are used in violent crimes in Rhode Island are illegally trafficked from other states bought legally by straw purchasers,” said Kilmartin. “We need strong federal legislation and enforcement to crack down on the few bad actors that continue to skirt the law in order to make a quick profit.”

The Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act has garnered the support of numerous gun violence prevention advocacy groups, including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.

”Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety are proud supporters and we urge Congress to protect families and communities by passing the Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act to ensure that bad actor gun dealers are held accountable,” said Giovanna Rodriguez, an Everytown Survivor Fellow. 

“In Rhode Island we recently passed the Protect RI Families Act which disarms domestic abusers, the Red Flag bill, and the Bump Stock ban. But there is still work to be done. It is important for us to keep going and continue to put forth laws that keep our community safe from gun violence, this bill will do just that.”

“Rhode Island gun crime is primarily due to easy access to weapons with little accountability from dealers,” said Linda Finn, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence. 

“The gun lobby resistance to allowing for systems to track firearms needs to change. We support Congressman Langevin’s continued effort to hold gun dealers responsible to reduce crime guns form getting into the hands of those who should not have them.” 

“I know that this Act to hold gun dealers accountable is a very important step toward the improved gun safety that we so desperately need in this country,” said Grace Reed, a Warwick student activist and incoming freshman at Brown University. 

“So, thank you, Congressman Langevin, for being one of the people who cares. And for not only supporting common sense gun safety legislation, but for introducing it and being such a strong advocate.”