Delaware Public Media

State Sen. McBride responds to criticism he broke gun bill promise

May 14, 2019

Senate President Pro Tem David McBride (D-Hawk's Nest) is defending himself against critics claiming he reneged on a promise to allow a floor vote on all gun control bills.

McBride said as recently as last month the full Senate would vote up or down on all gun bills. He now says it’s unlikely they will reach the floor before the session ends on June 30th.

The proposed legislation would ban assault-style weapons, high capacity magazines and creates a permit process to purchase firearms.

He says the bills lack sufficient support in the Democratic caucus. He estimates Senate Democratic support is maybe five members at most. That's six short of a majority in the Senate.

McBride also questions their constitutionality.

“What I’ve got from the discussions, people have raised this issue - time and time again," he said. "So, that means it needs to be resolved.”

The bill sponsors maintain their legislation is constitutional. Courts can only decide whether a law is constitutional after it is enacted.

McBride said he hasn’t asked the Senate attorney whether he believes the proposed measures are constitutional.

Gov. John Carney (D) said he hopes the Senate will still consider legislation restricting ghost guns or restricting open carry in school zones. House members say those bills have to start in the Senate.