Public hearing on gun control in Rota

Posted on Sep 22 2000

The Senate Committee on Resources, Economic, Development and Program has rescheduled its series of public hearings on the legislation easing the existing gun control law in an effort to attract so-called “shooting resorts” into the CNMI.

The first town meeting will be held on Oct. 6 at the Rota Court House, then another at the Tinian Court House on Oct. 10, and finally at the Senate chamber in Capitol Hill on Saipan on Oct. 11. The hearings will begin at 10:00 a.m.

HB 12-212, sponsored by House Floor Leader Oscar M. Babauta, seeks to amend the Weapons Control Act to allow use of handguns, shotguns and rifles within the premises of the “shooting resorts.”

The controversial measure has divided the community as some have opposed it because of its potential impact and harm to public safety on the islands.

But proponents have maintained its passage would lure potential investors, including a planned resort offering target practice and shooting ranges each on Rota and Saipan, bringing in at least $20 million in new investments.

The House approved the bill last month in a split vote, and the REDP chaired by Senate Floor Leader Pete P. Reyes has begun review of the proposal before making a recommendation to the upper house.

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