To the editor:
Two of the proposed gun control bills in the state of Rhode Island are removing rural traditions. One bill demands a $100 tax per firearm which is retroactive and would make you a felon if you did not comply.
The other bill, H 5576, would make it illegal for minors to use a firearm. I am a gardener and farmer in Little Compton. I have a 14-year-old daughter who shoots competitively all over the East cCast and has a good chance at scholarships to many universities in the country because she can beat most grown men. I use firearms as a tool to defend my chickens, calves and young bean plants.
All of these uses require different guns to be safe and humane. It is like a bag full of golf clubs; yes you could use a driver for every shot but certain clubs and, in this case certain firearms, are safer in different situations on the farm.
I have followed every law in the state of Rhode Island in regards to purchasing transporting and discharging all of my guns. I understand and support the need to put some laws in place to make sure that criminals and other dangerous people do not possess a firearm, I have passed a background check for every firearm I have purchased. I have never needed more than ten rounds to shoot a coyote and the shooting sports only require ten round magazines to compete.
Having me pay a hundred dollars per gun and be on a list is not going to keep guns from dangerous people. It will force me to sell most of my guns, many of them family heirlooms, resulting in a less safe environment on the farm to protect my children and livestock. Choosing between my daughter’s future and a bean crop because of a new tax seems unfair.
We have two sons in Boy Scouts. The troop leader, who already pays out of pocket for most of this troop, would have to pay $100 each for the ancient bolt action .22’s that the boys use to get their badges. Would the boys be able to shoot legally? Would my daughter be able compete in Manville, RI, and practice in her own backyard with me? Not if these bills pass, it would be a felony to do something that we have done for generations.