State Watch

Rhode Island gov signs law banning bump stocks

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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) signed into law on Friday a pair of bills banning bump stocks and allowing law enforcement to temporarily confiscate guns from people determined to pose a threat to themselves or others.

“Rhode Islanders are not going to wait for Washington to take action on gun violence,” Raimondo, a Democrat, said in a statement after she signed the legislation. 

The signing ceremony came a day after the state’s General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the two measures. The legislation makes Rhode Island the latest state to implement what advocates say are common-sense measures to curb gun violence.


The availability of bump stocks — mechanisms that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly — came under scrutiny last year, after a gunman used such a device in the shooting in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead. 

The prospect for a federal ban on bump stocks reemerged in February, when President Trump ordered the Justice Department to examine such a prohibition in the wake of another deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

That shooting also prompted some states to call for so-called “red-flag” laws, which allow authorities to temporarily seize guns from individuals determined to be an imminent danger to themselves or others.

The accused shooter in Parkland, a 19-year-old former student at the school, had allegedly shown a pattern of violent and erratic behavior, raising questions as to why he had been allowed to purchase a gun. Authorities in Florida say they had no legal authority to confiscate his weapon.

Rhode Island’s red-flag law will allow to petition the courts for permission to confiscate firearms from individuals determined to pose imminent risks.

Under the bump stock ban, individuals who own the devices will be required to sell or destroy them within 90 days. After that, possessing the devices could carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison or a $10,000 fine. 

Tags bump stock ban Donald Trump gun violence red flag laws Rhode Island

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