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Rhode Island governor OKs 'red flag' policy on dangerous gun owners

By Sommer Brokaw
Rhode Island governor OKs 'red flag' policy on dangerous gun owners
Students protested in front of the White House against gun violence in schools last week in Washington, D.C. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Fewer than two weeks after a gunman with a history of threatening behavior killed 17 people at a Florida high school, Rhode Island's governor implemented a policy that aims to keep guns away from dangerous individuals.

Gov. Gina Raimondo signed an executive order Monday to allow law enforcement agencies to consider "all red flags, including recent threats of violence made in person, in videos and on social media and take all available legal steps to remove firearms from any person who poses a threat to themselves or others," according to a news release..

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"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 in a statement.

Raimondo said the executive order was "an immediate step we can take to make residents safer."

Five states -- Connecticut, California, Washington, Oregon and Indiana -- have taken similar action on red flags in recent years, Raimondo's office said.

Lawmakers in Rhode Island planned to introduce similar legislation Tuesday. That law would prevent threatening individuals from owning or buying guns and would cancel any concealed carry licenses they may have, according to a Rhode Island General Assembly news release.

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Violating any of those rules would be a felony under the proposed legislation.

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