Throughout my tenure as a member of the Providence City Council, I have been an outspoken advocate for gun safety and common-sense gun reforms. Programs such as gun buybacks play an important role in removing firearms from Providence streets. I believe that programs like the one being proposed in Providence and Central Falls can potentially get firearms out of the hands of those who might use them to do harm against our fellow residents.
However, the program slated to happen next weekend in Providence includes an amnesty clause. Any firearm turned in through this program cannot and will not be traced or examined to see if it had been used in a violent crime. This sends a clear message to criminals that they can now get rid of their weapons and not face any consequences, while simultaneously being rewarded.
For decades, scores of violent crimes have gone unsolved because of public safety officials’ inability to find the weapon(s) used during the act. This program is equivalent to giving a criminal a “get out of jail free card”.
We owe the victims of gun crimes and their families more than this. They are owed justice. Giving amnesty to potential criminals will only help create more pain and suffering for their victims.
Before this program moves forward, I urge the Mayors of Providence and Central Falls to think about the long-range impacts this may have on our community’s unsolved crimes, and I urge them to remove the amnesty clause from the planned program. Further, I will be introducing a resolution at next Thursday’s City Council meeting calling for the same.
The victims of gun violence deserve better.
David A. Salvatore
Providence City Council
Councilor – Ward 14