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Gov. Carney calls for state ban on assault-style weapons

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney is taking steps to try to reduce gun violence.

Preventing more mass shootings dominated discussions among Carney and other governors meeting earlier this week in Washington D.C.

While Carney said he’s urging action at the federal level, he also wants state lawmakers to prohibit the sale and possession of assault-style weapons like the one used to kill students in a school in Parkland, Florida earlier this month.

“I’ve always supported that kind of a restriction," he said. "I, you know, respect Second Amendment rights for our citizens, but there are certain restrictions that you can put on those and I thought that in these mass shootings that was one of the factors that turned something that was terrible into something that’s horrific.”

Some state lawmakers oppose restricting what they say are basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution. In a statement, House Minority Leader Danny Short calls the proposed assault weapons ban misguided and says it will only further politically polarize Delawareans. He also says the previous 1994 federal assault weapons ban was ineffective.

Citing a lack of Congressional action, Delaware and other Northeastern states have formed an alliance to bolster existing gun laws.

The States for Gun Safety is a regional coalition to prevent gun violence. The coalition will trace and intercept illegal guns in the region as well as coordinate responses to gun violence.

"We are in a region where with I-95 corridor, where there’s a lot of movement of drugs and guns and the rest,” Carney said.

Carney also supports legislation to ban bump stocks, which allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire as fast as an automatic rifle. He’s also backing legislation to remove guns from people who are considered dangerous by medical providers.

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