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Some gun control measures may face uphill battle in State Senate

Delaware Public Media

State senators plan to consider a bill removing guns from people in a mental health crisis Tuesday afternoon.

But some gun other control measures are having trouble getting enough votes there.

Democrats hold the governor’s office and control both chambers of the legislature. But with just a one-seat majority in the Senate, some gun control measures may be on life support.

Legislation raising the age people can buy some guns was pulled from the Senate last week after facing multiple Republican amendments. And the sponsor of the bill banning assault-style weapons removed it from last week's Senate Judicial and Community Affairs Committee agenda.

But Gov. John Carney said the bills together are part of a package to reduce gun crime and violence in the state. “I would encourage the members downstairs in each chamber to give each of those pieces of legislation a vote, their time on the floor," he said. "They can vote yes or they can vote no.”

Democratic State Sen. Bruce Ennis is already saying he’ll vote against a ban of assault-style weapons. He also successfully amended a bill sponsored by House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst banning bump stocks. The amendment drops the first offense from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Longhurst is holding her legislation from going back to the House floor. The House has to vote again on whether it will accept the Senate's amendment.

Longhurst said she’s considering her options.

“Because it did pass the House pretty easily and you know their amendment passed the Senate pretty easily so now what I have to do is look at the broader picture to see how it can pass with both chambers liking it,” she said.

Carney signed legislation increasing the penalties for straw gun purchases last week.

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