McKee: Decision not to sign gun reporting bill into law wasn’t political

Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Two gun safety bills were signed into law Monday, but another piece of legislation with some bipartisan support stayed below the radar.

The General Assembly passed the measure, which requires the attorney general’s office to report the types of firearms used in crimes. Yet Gov. Dan McKee neither signed nor vetoed it.

Rhode Island’s constitution gives the governor three options when it comes to bills that have been passed by the General Assembly: the governor can either sign, veto or not sign it. If a bill isn’t signed or vetoed, it will then by default become law.

McKee opted not to sign the bill requiring gun reports from the AG, meaning it is now officially on the books.

Asked about the bill during his weekly briefing, McKee said his lack of signature doesn’t mean much.

“I don’t have an issue with it and I wouldn’t read too much into not signing it,” he said.

McKee said he was advised not to sign the bill and to just let it become law. The bill has support from both Democrats and Republicans, as well as gun-rights advocates, but was opposed by progressives on the House Judiciary Committee.

“It was a move to offset some of the opponents that were sponsoring that bill from gun safety that I got out publicly and supported,” McKee said.

Proponents of 2nd Amendment rights tell 12 News that while they want to be included in the drafting of gun-related bills, they are pleased with this one.

“It would actually give us a useable report that we would break down where we are getting the firearms, where how the crimes are happening, are they repeat offenders,” said Brenda Jacob of the R.I. Revolver and Rifle Association.

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