A likely unconstitutional taking of private property

Posted 6/21/22

With Warwick’s own Senator Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick) leading the charge, the Rhode Island Senate has once again subverted the will of the voters! 

To the Editor,

Senators were …

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A likely unconstitutional taking of private property


With Warwick’s own Senator Michael McCaffrey (D-Warwick) leading the charge, the Rhode Island Senate has once again subverted the will of the voters! 

To the Editor,

Senators were elected to their offices based on their campaign promises, to include many who promised to refrain from making law-abiding citizens felons through senatorial fiat.  Some of these senators were assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the body that studies proposed changes to gun laws and decides whether or not to approve related legislation or hold for further study.

On June 14th, the committee met to consider whether to forward legislation to the full Senate that would outlaw ten-plus round gun magazines and make them illegal to buy, sell, or possess in the Ocean State.  The majority of the committee—six of nine members—wanted to grandfather Rhode Islanders who bought such magazines years ago in good faith and who have never misused them.  That huge majority should have ended the committee’s consideration of the bill and it would have died in committee. 

But, hold on!  Senate leadership, to include Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey, and Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin all inserted themselves into the committee process and, using their ex-officio roles, voted to pass the bill out of committee without the grandfather clause.  They didn’t succeed, however.  The vote then ended up six to six with the tie vote spelling defeat under Senate rules. 

The people’s voices were heard, right?  The Senate rule making process, where committees study bills and decide whether or not they are worthy for advancement to the full senate for consideration, worked.  The voters who elected the committee’s majority had their voices heard, even with the dubious insertion of the Senate leadership into the committee process. 

Wrong!  Once again the cabal of Ruggerio, McCaffrey and Goodwin overruled the voters.  McCaffrey pushed the full Senate to override the committee’s decision and effectively invalidate the long-established committee process.  Unfortunately, this Warwick anti-Second Amendment Democrat succeeded and a bill identical to the bill the Judiciary Committee had rejected was passed—making hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Rhode Islanders felons for possessing something purchased legally and never misused.    

The Rand Corporation studied gun ownership in America and concluded that 15% of Rhode Islanders own guns.  That’s about 150,000 Ocean State citizens.  Most of these guns are magazine fed. 

So, what’s the result of McCaffrey’s anti-Second Amendment push to be signed by the Governor this week?  Disregarding that most other states with high capacity magazine bans have grandfathered existing magazines, McCaffrey’s cabal has decided that it will make over a hundred thousand Rhode Islanders criminals for possessing a magazine that holds more than ten rounds.  Our government intends to confiscate these magazines by forcing owners to turn them in to police, a likely unconstitutional taking of private property.  Or they can hide their magazines somewhere in their homes and, automatically and without just cause, become felons.  It will be a dilemma in which law-abiding citizens will find themselves between the proverbial “rock and a hard place,” having to choose between two equally bad choices.  That’s not how a democratic state should treat one tenth of its citizens!

“How many Warwick voters own these now illegal magazines?  How many of these law-abiding Warwick voters are appalled that McCaffrey and his gang want to make them instant felons?  How many of these voters will remember McCaffrey’s perfidy when they go to the polls in November?”  

Lonnie Barham


letters, editorial


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  • umpwuggly

    Unfortunately that's their plan. If some one with resources is caught and can fight it, they could probably win in a just court, yet this is punishment through the process instead of objectively looking at this and understanding they're turning good people into criminals. FYI Criminals will continue to be criminals regardless.

    Thursday, July 7, 2022 Report this