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Senate passes online privacy bill amid fireworks

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Delaware Public Media
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After getting sidelined earlier in the day, state senators gave the green light for Delaware officials to forbid certain online ads directed towards kids.

Senate Pro Tem Patricia Blevins (D-Elsmere) accused a National Rifle Association lobbyist of misleading legislators during the debate.

Rick Armitage told lawmakers that a bill outlawing marketing guns, among other products, on children’s websites could ban things like youth shooting sport ads or hunter safety courses.

Senators eventually passed the bill backed by Attorney General Matt Denn with bipartisan support. Armitage declined to comment on the record, but Denn defended him.

“I’ve known Mr. Armitage a long time. I would be surprised if he tried to deliberately mislead the Senate,” Denn said.

Blevins declined to press felony charges against Armitage, who wasn't specifically named, over his alleged false testimony, but the issue sidetracked debate on the bill itself.

Senators had initially amended out the gun provision over concerns conveyed by the NRA.

After discussing the issue further, they later added it back in after assurances from Denn that it wouldn’t prevent that.

“The bill says that on websites that are directed to children that you cannot market firearms or ammunition and I think there’s a common sense understanding of that and that’s how we will enforce it.”

The legislation is part of a package of bills that also includes not allowing employers to require access to employees’ social media accounts.

House lawmakers will debate the issue next.

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