Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio Rhode Island

Senate President Ruggerio introduces legislation to prohibit possession of firearms on school grounds

President of the Senate Dominick J. Ruggerio has introduced legislation to prohibit the possession of firearms on school grounds. Named in honor of its longtime champion in the Senate, The Harold M. Metts School Safety Act of 2021 would allow only peace officers, retired law enforcement officers, and persons under contract to provide school security to carry a firearm on school grounds.

“Guns do not belong in schools, and private citizens have no business bringing a gun on school property,” said President Ruggerio. “Citizens carrying firearms in schools increases risk, not safety. There have been dozens of examples of mishandling and accidental discharge of firearms in schools across our nation.”

He added, “We are working hard to improve education in our state. The presence of firearms in schools is detrimental to a positive learning environment.”

The legislation would apply to the property of any public or private elementary or secondary school, including school buses. Activities that would be exempt from the proposed law include firearm instruction and/or safety courses; government-sponsored military-related programs such as ROTC; interscholastic shooting and/or marksmanship events; military history and firearms collection courses; and the use of blank guns used in theatrical or athletic events.

Former Senator Harold M. Metts sponsored similar legislation for many years.