In accordance with the ACLU of RI’s longstanding opposition to laws that disqualify former felons from a wide array of rights, benefits, and privileges, we opposed this broad legislation which would make it a crime under state law for any ex-felon to possess a firearm, regardless of the date or nature of their criminal record. We noted that, just as one’s status as an ex-felon should not serve as an automatic barrier to employment opportunities, housing or other government benefits, it should not serve as a per se barrier to possessing a firearm. State law already bars individuals who have committed crimes of violence from owning firearms.
Barring Felons from Owning Firearms (S 744)
Senator Maryellen Goodwin
Held for Further Study