[From a press release]
Governor Gina Raimondo‘s Gun Safety Working Group today released its final report, which includes dozens of recommendations for reducing gun violence, including proposals to strengthen mental health resources in schools, prohibit concealed-carry weapons on school grounds, ban high-capacity magazines, strengthen our permitting laws, and improve statewide data collection on firearms.
The Gun Safety Working Group was comprised of 43 members representing public health, behavioral health, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and defense attorneys, educators and school administrators, veterans, academics, representatives of nonprofit organizations and other members of the community. The group was chaired by Narragansett Town Manager James Manni and Megan Ranney, MD, an emergency medicine physician affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital and an associate professor at Alpert Medical School of Brown University. The recommendations represent a broad consensus of the Working Group.
In February, Governor Raimondo became the first governor in America following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida to take executive action establishing a statewide ‘red flag’ policy to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. The executive order also called for the creation of the Gun Safety Working Group to develop recommendations for addressing gun violence.
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“Since I’ve been governor I have had to lower the flags to half staff because of gun violence 11 times. Enough is enough. While Washington continues to drag its feet, Rhode Island is taking action and working on a plan to keep our schools, our families and our communities safe,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “I’m grateful to the members of the Gun Safety Working Group for dedicating their time and lending their thoughtful perspectives to this important work.”
The Working Group’s recommendations include:
- Improve statewide data collection, data integration and analysis to support reduction in gun crimes, deaths and injuries
- Ban all magazines capable of accepting, or that can be readily converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition
- Ban the production, possession, purchase or sale of 3-D printed firearms, which, in addition to being untraceable, may also be undetectable firearms
- Prohibit the concealed carry of firearms on school grounds and within 1,000 feet of elementary or secondary schools, consistent with federal law, and in government buildings
- Ensure access to licensed mental health professionals for all elementary and secondary public school students
- Raise the age to purchase/possess long guns to 21 subject to certain exceptions
- Increase public awareness of suicide prevention resources with key audiences: firearm dealers, educators, and healthcare providers
- Require regular training of law enforcement and the judiciary on use of the “Red Flag” law and NICS reporting of individuals who should not have access to firearms based on a significant danger of causing harm to themselves or to others.
A copy of the full report can be found here.
“These proposals represent our Working Group’s broad consensus about where our state’s gun-policy priorities should be focused, and are based on the best available public policy, criminal justice, and public health data,” said Narragansett Town Manager and Working Group Co-Chair James Manni. “This is only the beginning of what we hope will be a deliberate, ongoing, and thoughtful effort to update our laws, implement policies that improve public health and safety, and support state and local initiatives that tackle the growing toll of gun violence on society.”
“I’m proud of the way our Working Group developed consensus around common-sense strategies to reduce gun injuries in our state,” said Working Group Co-Chair Dr Megan Ranney of Rhode Island Hospital/Alpert Medical School. “No matter what perspective we came from – parent, law enforcement, teacher, doctor, gun owner, veteran, student – we all had the same goal: to keep our communities safe. Although public health initiatives take time, the quick implementation of our group’s recommendations will help our state achieve our goal of safety for all. Through a laser focus on short- and long-term impact, and by continuing to listen to voices of all Rhode Islanders, we will protect the public’s health and well-being.”
Since she’s been in office, Governor Raimondo has taken several important steps to prevent gun violence. Last year, she worked with Moms Demand, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) and other community leaders to pass legislation that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. This spring, she signed legislation creating a permanent Red Flag law in Rhode Island and banning bump stocks. In July, she announced that $10 million would be immediately made available for low-cost, high-impact school safety upgrades. And last month, she and Education Commissioner Ken Wagner issued a binding directive banning anyone other than active, identified law enforcement from carrying firearms in public schools.