After the Parkland school shooting, many people are wondering whether elected officials will take action on gun control. A small group of Democratic Governors say they have a plan to do just that, even if there is no movement on the issue in Congress.
Governors in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have signed a memorandum of understanding to share information about anyone barred from owning or buying a firearm in their respective states. The group says the practice will supplement the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, also known as NICS. The governors say it’s part of an effort to tamp down on buying and transporting guns across state lines.
The announcement was made Thursday as part of a new, multi-state effort to move forward on gun control, led by the governors.
“We’re going to take action,” said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. “Concrete action steps. And I’m very pleased to be part of it. Now, Rhode Island has some of the nation’s strongest gun laws, but our nation has some of the weakest gun laws.”
The quartet of governors also announced the possibility that public universities could become centers for research into gun violence. They said universities could play a leading role in studying the issue and its impacts. For years, gun control advocates have said such research is hamstrung at the federal level.
In Rhode Island, Gov. Raimondo added that she will push the state legislature to adopt tighter gun control measures.
“It’s still legal in Rhode Island to buy a military style weapon,” said Raimondo. “It’s still legal for civilians to carry a concealed firearm into state buildings and schools. It’s still legal in Rhode Island to buy high-capacity magazines. And I’m going to be working with my legislature to change that. To fix that.”
Last year, Rhode Island lawmakers passed a bill that takes guns out of the hands of convicted of domestic abusers.