The video following the text on this WPRI story features me arguing that the governor’s executive order making gun confiscation a higher priority for law enforcement doesn’t adequately respect the rights of the gun owner. One can tell that it was written entirely by gun-control advocates. The person under investigation, while law enforcement must “follow up” with him or her at least once, has no advocate in the process. Moreover, the Working Group for Gun Safety has no requirement that any members be supporters of gun rights or even private-sector gun experts. “Gun violence prevention advocates” and “affected families and youth” get a nod, though.
As a distinct matter separate from the wisdom of the “red flag” policy that Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo promoted, however, the process and presentation raise important questions about the governor’s priorities.
First is the fact that the public was told on Friday that the governor would sign some broadly defined “red flag” legislation on Monday, which she did at a staged media event in Warwick. Then, we all waited around to discover what, specifically, she had done after she had already done it. No public input; Raimondo formulates a policy behind closed doors and assumes it is perfect.
That was followed by, second, the fact that the language of the executive order was not available anywhere, as far as I could tell, including on the governor’s executive order page, which at the time hadn’t been updated since 2015, and on the page for the related press release. The executive order page was updated before the close of business, yesterday, after I’d complained about the omission on social media, but as of this writing (the following morning), the tab at the top of the list still says “2015.”
In other words, with all the public relations personnel that Governor Raimondo is infamous for having hired, nobody bothered to make this executive order available upon release — let alone beforehand, available for public comment. That suggests that the important thing, to the governor, isn’t the policy, but the PR, and that isn’t how law ought to be formulated, especially when restricting Constitutional rights.