PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, yesterday stood with Governor Gina Raimondo as she signed the “The Protect Rhode Island Families Act” into law. Under current Rhode Island law, abusers convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes and abusers who are subject to final restraining orders are not always prohibited from possessing guns nor are they always required to surrender their firearms once they become prohibited. These dangerous loopholes have deadly consequences: Research shows that when a gun is present in the home of a woman who is being abused, it is five times more likely that the woman will be killed.
The Protect Rhode Island Families Act will close these loopholes by requiring that these abusers are prohibited under state law and are required to turn in their guns once they become prohibited from possessing them. The legislation, sponsored and championed by Rep. Teresa Tanzi, was passed and signed after years of grassroots activity by the Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action.
Since the start of 2013, a total of 24 red, blue and purple states have strengthened existing laws or passed new ones to help keep guns away from domestic abusers. In 2017 alone, eight states, including Rhode Island, have already enacted this type of legislation, almost all of them signed by Republican governors: Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.
STATEMENT FROM JENNIFER BOYLAN, VOLUNTEER WITH THE RHODE ISLAND CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“We applaud Governor Raimondo for signing ‘The Protect Rhode Island Families Act’ into law. The Rhode Island chapter of Moms Demand Action has fought tirelessly for this groundbreaking bill for three straight years, and we could not be prouder of our governor and lawmakers for demonstrating real leadership in prioritizing public safety in our state. Research shows that state laws requiring firearm relinquishment for people under domestic violence protection orders are associated with a 25 percent lower rate of intimate partner firearm homicide. Simply put, this key piece of legislation will save lives and allow more Rhode Island families to live without the threat of gun violence looming over their heads.”