PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee signed three high-profile gun control measures into law Tuesday afternoon in an effort to protect all Rhode Islanders from a national crisis that has “taken too many lives and torn apart too many families.”

The General Assembly approved the legislation last week following hours of heated debate among lawmakers.

The bills ban high-capacity magazines that contain more than 10 rounds of ammunition, make it illegal to openly carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in public, and raise the age to buy a gun or ammunition from 18 to 21.

“Here in Rhode Island, we’re taking meaningful action to address the scourge of gun violence and keep our residents safe,” McKee said. “These measures can help saves lives.”

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The high-capacity magazine ban in particular has been a point of contention for Second Amendment supporters.

The Senate Judiciary Committee initially rejected the proposal last week, prompting Senate leaders to use a rare maneuver to push the bill forward.

The move allowed the bill to bypass the legislative committee and head straight to the Senate floor for the full body’s approval.

The Rhode Island Republican Party sharply criticized Senate leadership for sneaking the bill past the closely divided committee.

Brenda Jacob, president of the Rhode Island Revolver and Rifle Association, said the political maneuvering that occurred to get the legislation passed “should raise alarm bells for all Rhode Islanders.”

“Rhode Islanders need to believe in the legislative process, not backroom deals,” Jacob said. “No matter how you fall on a political issue, citizens must feel the process is consistent. The legislative process must be transparent and not dependent on a select few legislators that want to remain in power and disregard the will of their committee vote.”

Second Amendment supporters have already indicated that they plan to challenge the new measures in court.

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The renewed push for gun control locally has come in direct response to the recent massacre in Uvalde, Texas, the country’s deadliest school shooting since 2012.

The House and Senate have yet to consider two bills that would ban assault-style weapons and strengthen safe firearm storage laws.