Statement on Burrillville Resolution Declaring Sanctuary Town

Providence, Rhode Island (April 25, 2019)– Last night the Burrillville Town Council voted unanimously for a resolution that declares the town a “Second Amendment Sanctuary own”. The resolution states that the town will support “the Burrillville Police Department to exercise sound discretion when enforcing laws impacting the rights of citizens under the second amendment,” and that “the Burrillville Town Council will not appropriate funds for capital construction of building space or purchase of storage systems to store weapons seized pursuant to the requirements set forth in any legislation if such bill is enacted by the Rhode Island General Assembly and/or for the purpose of enforcing any other law that unconstitutionally infringes upon the right of the People of the Town of Burrillville to keep and bear arms.”

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) maintains that supporters of the Second Amendment would be misinterpreting the law if they believed that supporters of current or future gun safety regulations were abridging on their rights.

“The Second Amendment does not create a right to own  an assault weapon. The United States Supreme Court in the case of District of Columbia vs Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and the Rhode Island Supreme Court in Mosby vs Devine, 851 A2nd 1031 (RI 2004) spoke to the rights of individuals under the 2nd Amendment and under the companion provision of the RI Constitution,” said RICAGV volunteer and retired attorney, Michael Kraemer. “The only right under the federal and state constitutions that has been found to exist is the right to possess a firearm at home for personal protection, and the right to possess a firearm at one’s owned place of business. Also, in the Heller case, Justice Scalia wrote: ‘Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment right is not unlimited…[The right is] not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatsoever purpose.’»

Further, the term sanctuary city should not be used lightly. In a time when our nation’s executive is using his administration’s power to threaten our most vulnerable communities, becoming a sanctuary city or town is a municipal tool to protect citizens from deportation or worse. To make light of the term is not only dangerous but ignores the fact that the rights of Second Amendment supporters have not been violated by gun control laws.

The Coalition hopes that members of the Burrillville Town Committee will consider the legality of their rights under the Second Amendment and the weight of the term sanctuary city.