House passes Noret legislation requiring corrections officers to qualify with firearms annually


STATE HOUSE –— The House of Representatives today passed legislation introduced by Rep. Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist. 25, Coventry, West Warwick) that would require annual weapons qualifications for correctional officers.

The bill (2022-H 7705A) would require those officers to qualify annually with the pistol or revolver they carry rather than the previous requirement of once every two years.

“Proficiency in firearms is very important, especially when we’re discussing the use of deadly force,” said Representative Noret, who served for 20 years as a Coventry police officer. “We expect excellence and professionalism from all law enforcement officers; that means we should provide them with the training necessary to carry out their duties. This legislation would ensure that our correctional officers have undertaken the necessary training to use their weapons competently.”

The bill has the support of Patricia A. Coyne-Fague, director of the Department of Corrections, who told the House Judiciary Committee that the legislation would put Rhode Island in line with neighboring Massachusetts and Connecticut, which both require annual recertification from their correctional officers.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where similar legislation (2022-S 2811) has been introduced by Sen. John Burke (D-Dist. 9 West Warwick).


Tensions are running high after an explosive meeting in the Texas town of Uvalde [[ yoo-VAHL-dee ]] where 19 students and two teachers were murdered in a massacre. Relatives of the victims lashed out at the city leaders, demanding accountability. Velma Duran lost her sister Irma, who was a teacher at Robb Elementary. She says victims' families have been stonewalled by the Uvalde District Attorney who's refusing to release information about the investigation.       Gas prices are down from their recent all-time high, but it'll still cost Americans a pretty penny to hit the road this holiday weekend. Triple A says the nationwide average price is four-84 a gallon. It was sitting at just three-12 a gallon this time last year.        Ukrainian President Zelensky says the U.S. decision to send more assistance to his country is historic. The Pentagon announced a new 820-million-dollar package of military supplies to be sent to the war-torn nation as it fights off the Russian invasion. Zelensky thanked President Biden for his "continued leadership and support" of Ukraine in its war against Russia.        The WHO says urgent action is needed after monkeypox cases tripled in two weeks in Europe. Over 90-percent of cases confirmed of the virus have been found in Europe as they've been reported in 31 European countries. Monkeypox is a viral disease that occurs mostly in central and western Africa.       Uber is releasing its latest safety report and the number of sexual assaults. According to company, it received just over 38-hundred reports of sexual assault and misconduct from 2019 through 2020. That's a 38 percent decrease from their prior report from 2017 through 2018.       "Minions: The Rise of Gru" is reeling in over ten-million-dollars in Thursday previews from domestic box offices. The latest entry in the "Despicable Me" franchise is expected to bring in between 65- and 75-million-dollars over the holiday weekend. That puts it on pace to be the lowest first week opening since the original film released in 2010.