Rhode Island State Police Chief Colonel Stephen O’Donnell supports a ban on high capacity magazines for automatic rifles. That’s the kind of weaponry used in last weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando.
Col. Stephen O’Donnell says he’s not opposed to weapons, and he understands the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms. But he doesn’t see any reason why high capacity magazines – meaning lots of bullets that can be fired quickly – should be legal.
“I’ve yet to hear a viable argument of high capacity magazines, what the purpose is," says O'Donnell. "I have friends that are hunters. They use high capacity weapons, but not magazines. They use several rounds to hunt, but they don’t need 15, 30, and 45 round clips to hunt an animal.”
O’Donnell says several efforts to ban high capacity magazines have died in the State Capitol.
He says many of the assault rifles police have taken off the street have these high capacity magazines.
Data from the federal gun background check database show there were nearly 8,500 checks to buy rifles and other long guns legally in Rhode Island in 2015. The kind of gun used in the Orlando shooting is legal to buy in Rhode Island.