Rhode Island Governor Orders Confiscating Guns from ‘Red Flag’ Persons
As with any such discretionary power given to police, it will surely be abused. But the Parkland shooting was yet another in a long line of situations where obvious "red flags" were ignored until it was too late.
YahooNews/GMA (“Rhode Island executive order encourages taking guns from ‘red flag’ individuals“):
Rhode Island established a new “red flag” policy on guns with an executive order that will help keep guns away from people who “could pose significant threats to public safety.”
“The executive order I signed today is an immediate step we can take to make residents safer. It sets the table for a complementary legislative effort,” Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. “We cannot wait a minute longer for Washington to take action to prevent gun violence.”
Five states — Connecticut, California, Washington, Oregon and Indiana — have taken similar action on potential red flags in recent years, but Rhode Island is the first to do so since the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month.
The policy does not give law enforcement new authority to confiscate guns, but it directs them to use “all available legal steps” to remove firearms from people who have shown warning signs, including recently making threats of violence online or in person, according to the statement.
The reporting here is vague, so I’m going to operate under the presumption that the governor is acting within the scope of her legitimate authority. While I’m always dubious of executive exertions that there is no time to waste waiting for the legislative process to work, simply ordering law enforcement officials under her jurisdiction to prioritize enforcement of existing laws in this ambit seems reasonable on its face.
As with any such discretionary power given to police, it will surely be abused. Persons of color and those in lower socio-economic strata will almost inevitably disproportionately targeted. But the Parkland shooting was yet another in a long line of situations where obvious “red flags” were ignored until it was too late.