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Politics & Government

Two gun control bills signed into law by Gov. Carney

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Roman Battaglia
/
Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney signed the two gun control bills lawmakers succeeded in passing this year.

Lawmakers had gun control on their minds this year, with several pieces of legislation aimed at limiting access to guns for people who shouldn’t have them.

State Rep. Kritsa Griffith sponsored House Bill 124, which prohibits individuals accused of domestic violence from owing or purchasing a firearm.

“I just really wanna thank survivors and really give a shout out to them for everything that they have accomplished in their lives to get passed,” says Griffith. “We all commend the work of advocates, which we should do, lawmakers and law enforcement but really we also need to thank and commend the survivors of domestic violence who overcome so much in the abuse that they face.”

According to the Delaware Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, out of the 8 domestic violence related homicides in 2020, 6 of them involved the use of a firearm.

Griffith says this has been an issue for years, since perpetrators of domestic violence are still allowed to carry and purchase guns, and just the presence of a gun increases the risk of death.

Carney also signed a bill banning the possession or manufacturing of so-called “ghost guns,” which can be 3-D printed at home and assembled without the need for a background check.

State Sen. Nicole Poore says the ability to obtain these guns without background checks makes them very dangerous.

“In 2019, a 16 year old boy used a self assembled, untraceable firearm in a school shooting in Santa Clara, CA, killing two students and injuring three others,” Poore says. “I don’t think I need to say anything more.”

Poore says this bill gives law enforcement another tool to help keep these kinds of weapons off the streets.

The two bills signed by Carney were among a slate of gun legislation lawmakers attempted to pass this year.

Two others, which would limit the number of rounds in a single magazine and create a permit to purchase system for handguns, both failed to make it through the legislature — despite significant changes.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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