A new bipartisan coalition called the Delaware Coalition for Common Sense seeking to lobby for gun violence legislation in the First State is getting to work.
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and husband Captain Mark Kelly were among those at Wilmington’s Central Baptist Church to support the new advocacy group.
Kelly says the state has work to do on gun control. He points specifically to what’s known as the “Charleston loophole," where shops are legally allowed to sell a gun if a background check takes longer than three business days to complete.
“You’ve probably heard that saying or read the bumper sticker that guns don’t kill people, people kill people? Well we get that and we believe that to be absolutely true," Kelly said. "That’s why we need to focus on these issues that allow dangerous people: felons, domestic abusers, to get their hands on firearms.”
Earlier this year, state House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst said she may offer a bill to close that loophole.
Kelly would also like to see stronger efforts to keep guns out of the hands of individuals potentially experiencing a mental health crisis.
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence’s Jeffrey Lott expects a bill addressing that to appear in the General Assembly soon.
“If your family member is acting not themselves and at the same time they’re polishing up their gun collection, you might be concerned. And a lot of parents have had that concern, there just hasn't been the mechanism for the people to go to law enforcement and say I’m really concerned about this person,” Lott said.
The Coalition for Common Sense is still building an advisory council, but already has New Castle County Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick and former New Castle County Executive Dennis Greenhouse among others on board.
Kelly says he wouldn’t necessarily support legislation to license firearm owners, require the registration of firearms or limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time, none of which have current limitations in the state of Delaware.