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Anti-assault weapons rally gets loud at RI State House

A noisy rally at the Rhode Island State House Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, intended to reach the ears of legislators, as residents are demanding a ban on military-style weapons across the state.

A noisy rally at the Rhode Island State House Tuesday intended to reach the ears of legislators, as residents are demanding a ban on military-style weapons across the state.

“There’s a huge cry from the citizens of Rhode Island to ban assault weapons and we hope they’re listening to us,” Linda Finn of the Coalition to End Gun Violence told NBC 10 News.

Finn and others believe there is momentum to restricting gun ownership following the tragic killings at a high school Florida.

House Speaker Nick Mattiello said why some are reluctant to enact a ban on weapons like the AR-15.

“You have hunters, you have gun enthusiasts and advocates that really care about the firearms that they use for practice for hunting for recreational purposes. That’s their hobby. That’s an important aspect of their life. Those folks are never going to be dangerous,” Mattiello told NBC 10.

Mattiello is more enthusiastic about a bill that would allow law enforcement to remove guns from the hands of people thought to be dangerous.

“People that have behavioral health issues that make them dangerous should not be in possession of firearms,” said Mattiello, who is a co-sponsor of the so-called “red flag” bill that would require a judge issue a warrant before police can remove guns from a person. “We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback and my expectation is it’ll move through the House pretty quickly.”

An identical bill has the backing of Senate leadership.

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