- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Due to state law, Rhode Island University police responded to a report of a campus gunman last week while armed with only pepper spray and batons.

State police officers — who are allowed to be armed on campus — were still arriving roughly twenty minutes after the first call for help went out, reports add. No shooter was found and no one was injured.

Rep. Joe Almeida introduced a bill back in February that would amend state law to mandate that campus police officers who complete a firearms training course at the state’s municipal police academy would then carry weapons on duty, WPRI reports. He said the incident at URI makes the proposal even more important.

“Because of what happened at URI, what happened in Connecticut, what’s happening in California, all across the country,” he said Friday. “Something needs to be done. Do we wait for somebody to be hurt in Rhode Island or do we move now?”


Rhode Island is currently the only state in the country that prohibits public university police from carrying guns, the Associated Press reports.