WARWICK, R.I. — Flanders said his plan to have ex-military guard schools would use federal money, training and recruiting, but local school districts to develop security measures.
U.S. Senate candidate Robert Flanders wants to hire retired soldiers to guard schools, institute a national “red flag” restraining order system like the one Rhode Island lawmakers are now considering and penalize government agencies that don’t share criminal background information in his newly released plan to combat mass shootings.
“I believe we can no longer stay silent and do little or nothing while these senseless attacks on our most innocent children and their teachers continue to happen,” Flanders stated in a news release Tuesday.
″…Today I am announcing three legislative initiatives that I would proudly support as a Rhode Island Senator because I truly believe they offer common sense solutions that will reduce school violence and ensure we continue to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
Flanders, a Republican and a retired state Supreme Court judge, is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in November.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Flanders said his plan to have ex-military guard schools would use federal money, training and recruiting, but local school districts to develop security measures (such as metal detectors), hire guards and decide what kind of weapons they would carry.
The red flag protective orders he envisions would work like the proposed state law and would give “any individual with first-hand knowledge the right to seek a court-mandated restraining order against persons acting in ways that potentially threaten the safety of others.” Such an order would allow police to disarm the person deemed a danger.
He also wants to pass legislation that “would apply significant penalties to government agencies and officials for failing to report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”
Flanders declined to take positions on tougher gun control measures, such as a ban on assault weapons or an increase in the minimum age to own a gun.
“We have to start with what has the best chance of agreement among as many people as possible. An assault weapons ban is controversial,” Flanders said. “I am open to considering other measures down the road. We need to start on school security.”
Meaghan McCabe, spokesman for Whitehouse, offered this response:
“Senator Whitehouse has for years backed a number of gun safety measures favored by the overwhelming majority of Americans — including laws that would prevent teenagers like the Parkland gunman from purchasing military-style assault weapons and ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. While Republicans in Congress have over and over again blocked Democrats from passing even the most commonsense gun safety legislation, Senator Whitehouse will keep up this fight for as long as it takes for children to feel safe in their own schools.”
State Rep. Bobby Nardolillo, R-Coventry, is also vying for the GOP Senate nomination, and last week, in the wake of the shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school, called for tighter school security and better school mental health counseling to try to prevent more mass shootings. He proposed funding these things with a 25-cent hike in the cigarette tax and taxes on violent video games.FacebookTwitterGoogle +