Some Rhode Island gun owners want to carry loaded pistols inside their waistband while shopping for groceries. At the end of 2007, there were 4,383 people with permits to carry concealed guns in the state.
James Archer, head of Citizen's Rights Action League, has led the fight for a "concealed carry" in Rhode Island. In 2002, Archer won a lawsuit to force police departments to issue concealed weapon permits. Many jurisdictions follow the lead of the state Attorney General although retain local control over exactly who is "suitable" for permit.
Archer's court victory against Smithfield left ambiguity in requirements that can be imposed by local communities. Consequently, some police departments enforce vigorous standards for the issuance of a concealed carry permit.
Coventry, Lincoln, North Providence, West Warwick, and Pawtucket have stringent rules and require persons seeking concealed gun permits to have the same psychological testing that police recruits must undergo.
Archer's group hopes to bring a new lawsuit to compel local police departments to follow uniform 'shall issue' standards for the permit process. The Action League would also like to eliminate waiting periods for gun purchase. The group keeps an active watch on pending legislation and urges members to remain vigilant to attacks on gun ownership rights.
Archer does not want "unreasonable gun control" that "hinders the rights of law-abiding citizens." The group reports steadily increasing membership "with the help of local sporting goods retailers and gun clubs" throughout Rhode Island.
Archer is convinced that self-protection by packing heat is the best defense against crime. "Gun control, in fact, increases crime!"
"There are millions upon millions of illegal and untraceable firearms in this country presently. The logical conclusion is that control legislation will only disarm citizens while leaving millions of guns in the hands of criminals."
"Massachusetts recently enacted new legislation quietly through that back door that all but eliminated the sale of new handguns in the state. Taking firearms under the guise of 'Consumer Protection' laws, the new laws require many features that most guns do not incorporate--thus eliminating their ability to be sold. Example--All semi-automatic handguns must not be able to be fired when a magazine is removed. What happens if it becomes necessary to fire a weapon during a mag change while defending your family? The list of restrictions goes on and on. New guns that are compliant are being slowly reintroduced, but many manufacturers refuse to make the necessary changes, keeping their guns unsellable in Massachusetts."
Archer's mantra, "If our voices are strong enough, and we remain committed, we will be able to overcome the misguided efforts of the liberal gun grabbers."
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