Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo called the first meeting of her Gun Safety Working Group to order Monday afternoon. The Working Group is tasked with delivering ten suggestions for reducing gun violence in the state, not just in terms of mass shootings and school shootings, but in terms of urban violence and suicide reduction. The Working Group is tasked with making suggestions for better data collection and develop evidence-based strategies.

“The specific things I would like you to focus on is addressing loopholes in the background check system,” said Raimondo to the 43 member working group. “We all know they are there. We all know that background checks don’t do everything they’re supposed to.”

Also, the Governor wants the Working Group to “look at the reporting processes for people who shouldn’t have access to guns. You know, we’ve just seen this horrible Waffle House incident that we’re living right now. There were a lot of red flags in that young man’s past.”

The Governor also wants the Working Group to make sure that public places have proper safety plans. “I’ve had a series of listening sessions with teachers since Parkland and they’re scared,” said Raimondo.

Finally, said Raimondo, “Come to me with policy changes that will bring about meaningful reform as it relates to our gun safety laws.”

The Working group then listened to three presentations. The first, entitled “Preventing Firearm Injury: ‘Yes, We Can‘” was presented by Working Group Co-Chair Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Alpert Medical School, Brown University.

Adi Goldstein, Governor Raimondo’s Senior Legal Counsel, presented “The Legal Landscape: Rhode Island Firearm Laws – What They Cover & What They Don’t”

Working Group Co-Chair James Manni, Narragansett Town Manager, former Rhode Island State Police Major and current member of the National Rifle Association (NRA) outlined the “Proposed Working Group Agenda & Designation of Subcommittees.”

Manni noted that the Working Group would be respecting the Second Amendment throughout its work.

Members of the Rhode Island Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) were attendance as observers.

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