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Domestic violence: You have the right to safety in Rhode Island

As someone who has been a victim of domestic violence, it's important that you feel protected. That's what some state laws attempt to do for you.

The Rhode Island House has approved a bill that will help disarm those involved in domestic abuse situations. The bill, approved in late June, passed 55 to 12 in the House after a long debate. The bill must also pass the Senate to become law, but whether or not it passes, the importance of the bill is key in this situation.

With this bill, the legislation would allow a six-year gun ban for anyone who is accused and convicted of cyberstalking, disorderly conduct, simple assault and other crimes if they involve threatening to use a weapon or force with a weapon. With approval, the bill would require anyone who is on a domestic protective order to turn over their guns. They would not be able to get those weapons back until the order is no longer in effect.

The House does not meet again until September, but backers of the bill believe it will pass the Senate. Nearly half the states in the United States already have similar bills in both red and blue states. Federally, the government does prevent those with histories of domestic abuse from possessing firearms. In Rhode Island, they are unable to purchase new guns, but there is no way to remove current guns from the homes of offenders.

If you have questions about what you can do to stay safe, your attorney can help. Our website has more on what to do if you're a victim of violence.

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