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Assault weapons ban fails to get floor vote in Delaware Senate

Sarah Mueller
Gun right supports and gun control supporters crowd Delaware Senate Gallery

A vote to suspend rules and bring legislation banning assault style weapons to the floor of the Delaware Senate failed Tuesday.

Gun support advocates cheered when the two Democratic state senators - Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) and Bruce Ennis  (D-Smyrna) - joined eight Republicans to defeat suspending rules.

Republicans were upset last week when Senate President Pro Tem David McBride (D-Hawk's Nest) added the proposed assault style weapons ban to Tuesday’s agenda after it failed to get through committee.

State Sen. Anthony Delcollo (R-Elsmere) said bills that fail in committee should not be allowed to be heard by the full Senate.

“This vote has reinforced that process because we did not permit a bill to sidestep the important aspect of reviewing and examining evidence and the merits of a measure through a fulsome discussion in committee,” he said.

Townsend said he’s disappointed lawmakers didn’t agree to at least discuss the merits of a ban.

“This is such a key issue," he said. "A strong majority of the public wants to see this, a majority of gun owners want to see this. To not even have a debate is extremely unfortunate.”

Gov. John Carney (D) said he’s disappointed the bill didn’t get a vote by the full Senate. But he points to the red flag legislation that did pass Tuesday. It allows family members to report gun owners who are dangerous to themselves or others to law enforcement.

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