TITLE 8
Courts and Civil Procedure–Courts

CHAPTER 8-2
Superior Court

SECTION 8-2-15.1


§ 8-2-15.1 Gun court calendar.

(a) Findings and declarations. The General Assembly finds that:

(1) There has been significant growth in the use of firearms in the commission of violent crimes.

(2) Many of the shootings are drug or gang related and endanger law abiding citizens.

(3) Many of the gun offenses are committed while individuals are free on bail for other offenses.

(4) The growing number of gun related offenses constitutes a burden upon the state of Rhode Island and threatens the domestic tranquility of the state and its people, especially residents of the urban areas where these crimes are most prevalent.

(5) In order to deter the use of firearms in the commission of violent crime, and to protect the law abiding public, there must be swift disposition of gun related offenses in our courts, and there must be the certain prospect of prison terms for those who are convicted of such crimes.

(b) Declaration of policy. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Rhode Island to provide maximum safety and security to its people from unlawful gun related violence and intrusion upon their persons and property by expediting the processing and disposition of such cases and, unless otherwise provided, imposing prison terms that must be served.

(c) Establishment. To accomplish this purpose in an effort to minimize delay in the processing of criminal cases in the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol relating to the illegal possession and use of guns and other dangerous weapons, there shall be established a separate calendar within the jurisdiction of the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol for hearing trial and disposition of actions brought pursuant to §§ 11-47-3, 11-47-5, 11-47-5.1, 11-47-8, 11-47-24, 12-13-1.2, and 12-19-21.

(d) Gun court calendar. (1) The presiding justice of the superior court shall create a gun court calendar in the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol and shall assign personnel to the extent warranted to exclusively hear and decide all criminal actions involving offenses committed in Providence and Bristol counties and brought pursuant to violations of the provisions of §§ 11-47-5, 11-47-5.1, 11-47-8, and 11-47-24 set forth in subsection (c), and it shall be referred to as the "gun court calendar" of the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol.

(2) The "gun court calendar" of the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol shall also have concurrent jurisdiction with any other calendar of the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol to hear and decide all criminal actions involving offenses brought pursuant to violations of the provisions of §§ 11-47-3, 12-13-1.2, and 12-19-21, so long as the criminal action involves the possession, threatened use, or use of a firearm.

(e) Time for trial. All trials in the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol involving offenses brought pursuant to the sections as set forth in subsection (c) shall be scheduled for trial on the "gun court calendar" in the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol within sixty (60) days of the completion of discovery. No continuances or postponements shall be granted except for good cause shown. Such continuances as are necessary shall be granted for the shortest practicable time.

(f) Use of section. Under no circumstances shall the defendant(s) be permitted to use this section as a basis for a dismissal of an action, as this section is enacted for the benefit and convenience of the superior court for the counties of Providence and Bristol in the assignment of its actions for trial.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1994, ch. 267, § 1.)