Gun control advocacy groups in Rhode Island are shaping their legislative strategy in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida last week. The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) s asking members of their member organizations to support three pieces of legislation:
- Safe Schools Acts of 2018 (H7591)
“This act would provide that only peace officers and persons approved by the school authorities for the purposes of educational instruction may carry firearms or other weapons on school grounds.”
- High Capacity Magazine Ban of 2018 (S2319) This bill was introduced by Representative Katherine Kazarian (Democrat, District 63, East Providence).
“This act would criminalize the manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale or transfer of any ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than ten (10) rounds known as high capacity magazines.” This bill was introduced by Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence).
- Rhode Island Assault and Weapons Ban of 2018
To be introduced by Senator Joshua Miller (Democrat, District 28, Cranston) in the Senate and Representative Jason Knight (Democrat, District 67, Warren) in the House. This bill will be introduced when the General Assembly comes back into session next week.
Meanwhile, Everytown for Gun Safety is pushing for a Red Flag Law in Rhode Island that would allow family members or law enforcement officers to request an Extreme Risk Protection Order. According to Everytown:
- When a person is in crisis, loved ones and law enforcement are often the first to see signs that they pose a threat. Red Flag Laws allow them to seek help from a court to remove guns from dangerous situations.
- Red Flag Laws empower law enforcement and immediate family members to petition a court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order, sometimes called a Gun Violence Restraining Order.
- If a court finds that a person poses a significant danger of injuring themselves or others with a firearm, that person is temporarily prohibited from purchasing and possessing guns and required to turn over their guns while the order is in effect.
Five states, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon and Washington, have Red Flag Laws.
In addition to legislation, two student walkouts are being planned for March 14 and April 20. The marches are still in the planning stages, and details are still being worked out, but the March 14 walk-out is timed to occur at 10am and last for 17 minutes, one minute for every life lost in Florida, while the April 20 Walkout is planned as an all-day affair.