WEST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — A crowd of supporters erupted into applause Wednesday night as the West Greenwich Town Council voted to declare itself a “2nd Amendment sanctuary,” following the example of two other Rhode Island towns.
The council approved the resolution 4-1, which states the town’s police department will “exercise sound discretion” when enforcing gun-related laws. It also states the town will not pay for the storage of weapons that are seized if gun control legislation – banning specific firearms – is passed.
VIDEO NOW // West Greenwich becomes third town to declare itself ‘2nd Amendment sanctuary’
“It’s not that everybody out here has guns,” Town Administrator Kevin Breene said. “But they’ve got pride. They’ve got a right to live here. They’ve got a right to not have somebody crawling down their throat every single minute.”
Republican State Senator Elaine Morgan is leading this charge. Earlier this month, she called on all of the towns she represents, including West Greenwich, to pass the resolution. Burrillville and Hopkinton have already approved similar resolutions.
“We’re law-abiding citizens and we need to take a stand,” Sen. Morgan (R) said.
The one member of the West Greenwich Town Council to vote against the resolution argued the town is bound to uphold state law.
“We are a civil society,” Council Vice President Linda Rekas-Sloan said. “The law is what the law is, and if you want to change it, you change the people over at the state house. That’s how it works.”
West Greenwich Police Chief Richard Ramsay tells Eyewitness News regardless of the declaration, the town’s police officers will continue to uphold the law. He said he believes the passing of this resolution is the town’s way of making a statement.
The town of Foster is set to discuss this resolution during a meeting Thursday night. Both the towns of Richmond and Glocester are also slated to take up the resolution next week.