Earlier today, Brett Smiley’s proposed 10% supplemental sales tax on all
guns and ammunition sold in Rhode Island was formally introduced to the
Rhode Island General Assembly by Senator Gayle Goldin. The House sponsor is
Representative Maria Cimini, who is due to give birth today and was unable
to attend the press conference. The bill promises to allocate all funds
raised from this tax to every town and city police department based
proportionally on the prevalence of crime in each area, and then each
police department will further allocate the money to non-profits with a
demonstrated commitment to reducing crime and violence.

Brett commented, “We have so many non-profits doing important anti-violence
work in our communities, yet they are consistently underfunded. This tax is
projected to raise about $2 million annually, creating the first ever
permanent funding stream for our community organizations with the added
benefit of facilitating partnerships between these groups and local law
enforcement.”

Smiley added, “Just like we expect the tobacco industry and those who
support it to pay for public health initiatives, the firearms industry and
those who prop it up should be paying to keep our streets safe.”

The gun and ammunition tax proposal was one part of an 8-page plan released
by Brett last December that pledged to make Providence the safest city of
its size in America. Providence is currently the 183rd safest of all U.S.
cities with a population of 100,000 or more.

Representative Cimini said in a statement: “Like so many parents throughout
our state, I never want to worry if my child is going to be safe walking
down the street. Brett has the right ideas to make Rhode Island safer, and
that’s why I’m so proud to be a sponsor of this bill.”

Senator Goldin said, “Brett has an impressive understanding of complex
issues and consistently offers reasonable solutions to address them. This
bill is another example of his commitment to putting his ideas into action.
Public safety is a top priority for Brett. With this common sense solution,
it can be a top priority for our whole state.”

Brett Smiley is running in the September 2014 Democratic primary for Mayor
of Providence.