Earlier today, Brett Smiley’s proposed 10% supplemental sales tax on all guns and ammunition sold in Rhode Island was formally introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly, sponsored by Senator Gayle Goldin and Representative Maria Cimini. The bill promises to allocate all funds raised from this tax to every town and city police department based proportionally on the prevalence of crime in each area, and then each police department will further allocate the money to non-profits with a demonstrated commitment to reducing crime and violence.
Brett commented, “We have so many non-profits doing important anti-violence work in our communities, yet they are consistently underfunded. This tax is projected to raise about $2 million annually, creating the first ever permanent funding stream for our community organizations with the added benefit of facilitating partnerships between these groups and local law enforcement.”
Smiley added, “Just like we expect the tobacco industry and those who support it to pay for public health initiatives, the firearms industry and those who prop it up should be paying to keep our streets safe.”
The gun and ammunition tax proposal was one part of an 8-page plan released by Brett last December that pledged to make Providence the safest city of its size in America. Providence is currently the 183rd safest of all U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more.
Representative Cimini said: “Like so many parents throughout our state, I never want to worry if my child is going to be safe walking down the street. Brett has the right ideas to make Rhode Island safer, and that’s why I’m so proud to be a sponsor of this bill.”
Senator Goldin said, “Brett has an impressive understanding of complex issues and consistently offers reasonable solutions to address them. This bill is another example of his commitment to putting his ideas into action. Public safety is a top priority for Brett. With this common sense solution, it can be a top priority for our whole state.”
Brett Smiley is running in the September 2014 Democratic primary for Mayor of Providence.