- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

LINCOLN, R.I. (AP) - Security guards at a Rhode Island casino say taking their guns away would be a mistake.

The union for the security officers at Twin River Casino says management wants to phase out armed officers through attrition and new hires.

Union leaders tell WJAR-TV (https://bit.ly/1JX437B) more than half of the casino’s 107 security guards are former police officers and carry guns while on the job. They say armed guards deter crime, and that gang members visit the casino knowing the officers have guns. Union leaders added that armed officers are paid substantially more than unarmed guards.

The issue is being discussed in contract negotiations.

A Twin River spokeswoman says the casino would not comment during the contract negotiation.

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Information from: WJAR-TV, https://www.turnto10.com

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