Delaware state Democrats push for gun restrictions in wake of Uvalde shooting

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Democratic Delaware state lawmakers are seeking to reinvigorate a push for gun control measures in the wake of the mass school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, including a bill to create a handgun license that has so far stalled in the legislature.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings, in a statement Wednesday, responded to both the school shooting in Uvalde, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers, and the recent grocery store shooting in Buffalo. , New York, where a gunman killed 10 people. people. The two shootings have rekindled calls for gun control measures across the country.

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Jennings called for both a ban on “assault rifles” and the passage of Senate Bill 3 – which would require licensing and training before a Delawarean could purchase a handgun.

“Our state and our nation must choose change, including banning the military-grade assault rifles that the two shooters allegedly used,” she said in a statement. It is also high time for Delaware to enact Senate Bill 3, a law creating a license to purchase firearms.”

“This proven and popular legislation would broadly and significantly reduce gun homicides, gun suicides and gun trafficking,” she said.

The bill passed the Senate last year without Republican support, but has so far failed to pass the state House. Both houses are controlled by Democrats. A similar bill to limit the size of magazines also passed the Senate, but also failed to pass the House.

“The House has the power to save lives by sending this bill to the governor’s office; in doing so, he would have not only my support, but the support of 70% of our state. It’s not too late for us to do the right thing,” Jennings tweeted.

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Democratic state Senator Laura Sturgeon was one of many lawmakers who also called on the House to pass SB3 next week.

“Delaware can pass SB3 (buyer’s license) the first week of June. They are waiting for action in the House. Hold us accountable,” she said. tweeted.

Crime scene tape surrounds Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday, May 25.
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Crime scene tape surrounds Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Wednesday, May 25.
(AP/Jae C. Hong)

Republican State Rep. Steve Smyk, a former Delaware State Trooper, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that shootings like Uvalde’s are usually “the work of individuals in difficulty suffering from a profound mental illness”.

He noted previous legislation the state has passed, including a ‘red flag’ law that can be used to limit gun ownership if an individual is proven to pose a danger to themselves. or for others.

“What we need are changes to the current law that will allow us to detect people with mental health problems earlier in time to get them the help they need and deny them access to weapons. on fire,” he said.

“However, [SB3] is misguided, establishing a new process that will only be followed by those who are legally responsible,” he said. “In effect, the proposal amounts to a regressive tax, potentially adding hundreds of dollars in compliance costs for citizens seeking to exercise the rights granted to them under the state constitution to own and use firearms – a burden that will fall most heavily on low-income Delawares.”

If the bill passes the House, it is unclear whether Democratic Gov. John Carney will sign it, although he indicated his support for the legislative proposals in a statement.

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“The reality is that we can do something about these horrific tragedies. In every state in the country, and in Congress, we have the ability to pass laws to make it increasingly difficult for people to get their hands on about the weapons that are causing these mass murders,” he said.

“We have made progress here in Delaware, but it is not enough. I am committed to working with the General Assembly to continue to do our part to prevent these shameful, appalling and unnecessary tragedies,” he said. -he declares.



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