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Gina Raimondo later said it was "surprising and upsetting" that lawmakers were trying "to make it easier to get a gun" in the wake of the then-recent mass shooting in Orlando.House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello disagreed, saying the bill would have standardized the process in response to complaints about slowness at the local level.Former Little Compton Police Chief Sidney Wordell, now executive director of the R. Police Chiefs' Association, said the legislation would have handcuffed local chiefs' ability to look into an applicant's background thoroughly."It was very restrictive and there was a disparity in what the attorney general's office could ask as to what a local chief could," Wordell said."Not restricting on how much of a background you could do, certainly goes a long way for determining that suitability."He added, "a police chief's main objective - without imposing on somebody's right - is the safety of the entire community."Chippendale said he does not think the legislation would have made it any easier for an individual to obtain a permit, and plans on resubmitting a similar bill next year."These chiefs who are willing to consider issuing a permit didn't have that guidance and those guidelines to go by so consequently they were creating their own," Chippendale said."The attorney general opposes the change from 'may' to 'shall.'"Processing fees vary The proposed bill would have also capped the application fee at .A Target 12 review of data shows towns charge widely different fees for the application process.
Woonsocket was the only community that did not supply the information to Target 12.
Nearly 70 percent of active permits - 2,489 of the 3,577 statewide - were obtained through the attorney general's office. Michael Chippendale, R-Foster, a gun rights advocate who also has a concealed carry permit, said cities and towns can make it difficult for people to get permission to carry a concealed weapon."I think folks who try go through the city or town process, depending on the city or town, can have a difficult time," Chippendale said.