Rhode Island gun control groups rally for bill to seize guns from domestic abusers

Gun control groups gathered at the Rhode Island State House Tuesday in show of support for a bill that would prohibit domestic violence offenders from possessing firearms.

The Providence Journal reported the groups gathered to support the Protect Rhode Island Families Act, also known as H5110, which would essentially prohibit gun possession from individuals subject to domestic restraining orders and from those convicted of misdemeanor cyberstalking and domestic violence.

Under current state law, guns can be taken away from those convicted of felony assault, but someone would have to be convicted of at least three domestic assaults before being charged with a felony.

Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements called the measure a “no-brainer” and noted that 54 people had died from 2006 to 2015 due to domestic violence incidents, most being killed by offenders with guns.

The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships were also there to support the measure.

The National Rifle Association has come out strongly against the bill, with its Institute for Legislative Action arguing it “does nothing more than create potential traps and pitfalls for law-abiding gun owners.”

The proposal is currently being “held for further study” in the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee after a heated debate occurred earlier in May.

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