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Politics & Government

Gun violence forum scheduled days before legislature reconvenes

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Delaware Public Media
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State Sen. Stephanie Hansen (D-Middletown) is coordinating a day long discussion on gun violence shortly after the start of the new year.

Hansen will host the event January 9th, days before the legislature reconvenes for the second leg of this session. 

The panel discussion will include Delaware attorneys, law enforcement, firearms experts, gun shop owners and physicians. The featured speaker is director of forensic psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University Dr. James Knoll, an expert on the psychology of mass shooters.

Hansen says she saw Knoll give a presentation at a psychiatric conference earlier this year.

“It just blew me away,” she said. “It blows away a lot of, I think, the common misperceptions about folks that commit mass violence, but then it also gives some steps into, perhaps, intervening strategies.” 

Hansen says in addition to the outside expert, it’s also important to have Delaware-specific data surrounding this high-profile issue.

“One of the things that has frustrated me in much of the gun debate is not knowing, particularly, the Delaware facts and statistics on the ground,” she said. 

Hansen says the forum will go over topics like what types of firearms are used in Delaware gun crimes, how background checks work and how to define “assault weapons.”

Hansen wouldn’t comment on which, if any, new gun control measures she’d like to see on the legislative agenda.

State Senate leadership shelved bills this summer banning assault-style weapons, restricting high capacity magazines and creating a permit system to buy firearms.

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