With calls for stricter gun laws after the Parkland shooting, Rhode Island’s legislatures have submitted two bills, one to ban bump stocks and the other to remove guns from people who were “red flagged.”
Over the years, five other states have passed red flag laws, Rhode Island is the first state to take action since the shooting. This law would allow the superior court to have the authority to issue “extreme risk protection orders” when they find someone named in a petition poses a “significant danger of causing imminent personal injury to self or others by having a firearm in their custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving, a firearm.”
This act would also allow the court to issue search warrants to seize firearms from those who have been red flagged. In the revised versions of the bill, key changes include that gun violence threats on social media would count as evidence and that only law enforcement officers could petition with the court for an order to remove guns from an individual.
Congress have also put in an act that would make the owning of bump stocks, binary triggers or trigger cranks punishable by up to 10 years in prison and or a $10,000 fine. The same penalties would apply to anyone in the state who has modified any semi-automatic weapon to make it shoot fully automatic.
Governor Gina Raimondo had urged state lawmakers to take action to pass legislation on gun safety, according to ABC News.
“The heartbreaking shooting in Parkland has once again proven that if the federal government won’t act, states need to do more to prevent the gun violence that has become far too common,” Raimondo said.
While these new laws are under some scrutiny from Rhode Island residents, some students at the University agree with the bills.
Jenna Chiarini, a public relations major and regular at the shooting range, says that she supports the ban on bump stocks since nobody needs an automatic weapon
“As long as I can still go shoot a gun, I’m fine,” said Chiarini, adding that she is “pretty okay” with the laws that Rhode Island legislatures are passing.
John Podesta, an economic and political science double major with a minor in history, is also against bump stocks and the use of a red flag policy as long as it is constitutional and is done by fair trial.
“My thing is, I’m all for that, but you have to do it through constitutional fashion and I don’t want emotion-based politics where we react way too quick and say okay now let’s take away this liberty or freedom or right just because it will make us feel better,” said Podesta. “The flip side to that is if we’re going to use emotion-based politics then the other side will do it and we will do it on every issue and that is deconstruction of politics in general.”
Chiarini agreed with Podesta and shared her concerns about a full gun ban that has been talked about by so many.
“Granted recent events are absolutely devastating, however I also feel like there’s a lot of and I’ve heard a lot of ‘no one should have a gun.’” She said. “Which I have no problem with the recent laws because they’re not going to affect me in any way, but that’s where I’m afraid it’s going to go.”