Rep. Kazarian introduces bill to keep guns out of schools
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence) has introduced legislation (2017-H 5345) that would allow only peace officers and persons approved by school authorities for the purposes of educational instruction to carry firearms or other weapons on school grounds.
“After so many horrendous tragedies over the years from gun violence at our schools, this legislation is sadly necessary to protect our children, teachers, and school staff. Guns have no place in the school setting and any private citizen who feels the need to bring a firearm onto school grounds should face ramifications for putting others in possible danger,” said Representative Kazarian.
The legislation would apply for the property of any public or private elementary or secondary school, including school buses. Violation of the proposed law would result in imprisonment for no less than one year and nor more than five years and a potential fine of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000. Minors caught in violation of the law, in addition to any penalties imposed by the family court, would lose their license to operate a motor vehicle for up to six months.
Activities that would be exempt from the proposed law include firearm instruction and/or safety courses; government-sponsored military-related programs such as ROTC; interscholastic shooting and/or marksmanship events; military history and firearms collection courses; and the use of blank guns used in theatrical or athletic events.
Cosponsors of the legislation are Rep. Edith H. Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence), Rep. Teresa A. Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett), and Rep Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence).
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903