GOP’s Fung opposes limits on semi-automatic weapons
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung is making his first comments on gun policy since a gunman killed 17 students at a high school in Parkland, Florida, nearly two weeks ago.
The Cranston mayor told WPRI-TV in an interview on Monday that he opposes a proposed state assault weapons ban and has concerns about so-called “red flag” legislation proposed at the General Assembly to make it easier to keep guns away from people who show warning signs of violence.
Fung said he does not support “any kind of limitations on semi-automatic weapons.”
“We have to balance the rights of law-abiding citizens who comply with the law, and protect their rights to have firearms,” he said.
Instead, he said we should focus on “the person who intends to cause harm” and make sure that criminals and those with mental health issues can’t get guns.
Fung has been criticized by other gubernatorial candidates for taking so long to weigh in on gun policy after the Florida shooting.
“This is a life and death issue. Every parent wants to know, every parent of a school-age child wants to know, where does their governor stand on this issue? And they deserve to,” Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said Monday at an event where she signed a “red flag” executive order to establish a new policy to try to keep guns away from people who show warning signs of violence.
The executive order is a precursor to legislation introduced in the General Assembly that would give law enforcement new authority to take guns away if a judge determines they pose an imminent danger.
Fung told WPRI-TV that the “red flag” legislation is too broad and does not protect due process for gun owners. The mayor’s position runs counter to that of his own city’s police chief, Michael Winquist, who on Monday said he supports both the executive order and legislation. Winquist called it “a valuable tool in preventing individuals who clearly exhibit a danger to the public from possessing and acquiring firearms, while balancing the constitutional right to bear arms.”
Fung also told the station he does not support arming teachers, something that has been suggested by President Donald Trump and others, but said he is looking at whether retired police officers can be brought back to provide additional security at city schools.
Fung was endorsed by the National Rifle Association when he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014, and said he would welcome their support again this year. He faces House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan and Giovanni Feroce, former CEO of the jewelry company Alex and Ani, in the September primary.
Information from: WPRI-TV, http://www.wpri.com