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).