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Rhode Island Towns Declare Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Another Rhode Island town declared itself a Second Amendment sanctuary, claiming its citizens will maintain their right to bears arms even if state lawmakers pass legislation enforcing further restrictions.

The town of Hopkinton passed a resolution Monday night, vowing not to enforce laws that infringe on the Second Amendment’s provision to keep and bear arms, although the measures are “largely symbolic,” the Providence-Journal reported. The town of Burrillville passed a similar measure in April.

“The Second Amendment is not a suggestion. It’s guaranteed, like freedom of the press, freedom of assembly,” said Hopkinton council member Scott Bill Hirst during the meeting. “We have a degree of arrogance from state leaders … and I’m going to proudly vote to defend the Second Amendment.”

The towns are part of several that make up Republican state Sen. Elaine Morgan’s legislative district, which saw just over 12,000 votes in 2018’s election, according to Ballotpedia. She asked all of them to pass Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.

“I took an oath, as we all have, to uphold our Constitution, our Amendments, from infringement,” Morgan told the Westerly Sun. “We’re going to follow the laws that are already written, but it’s the laws that they want to keep coming at us with and enough is enough.”

Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo seeks to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and guns in schools, warning municipalities that any new gun laws must be followed.

“I think they’re trying to make a political statement opposing my gun safety legislation,” Raimondo told The Associated Press on Friday. “I happen to think we’ve had enough gun violence and enough gun violence in schools that we need to pass these laws, but if you oppose it, then go to the Statehouse and lobby against it.”

Local governments have used strategies similar to the sanctuary city movement used to defy immigration laws.

At least eight states have had counties, cities or towns declare themselves sanctuaries to gun control legislation. In addition to Rhode Island, affected states include New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, New York, and Washington, according to The New American.

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