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As Delaware Legislature Convenes for 2024 Session, Lawmakers Have the Opportunity to Continue Momentum on Gun Violence Prevention

January 9, 2024

Delaware Lawmakers Return After Senate Passed Permit-to-Purchase Legislation Last Session

DOVER, DE – Today, the Delaware chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement as the Delaware legislature convened for the first day of the 2024 legislative session. Lawmakers are returning to the capital after a successful first year of session in 2023, in which Governor Carney signed legislation to prohibit guns in schools and prohibit guns at polling places on election days. This session, lawmakers have the opportunity to send permit-to-purchase legislation to Governor Carney’s desk to continue to make Delaware safer from gun violence. 

“We’re excited for the start of this year’s legislative session so that we can continue to work with our gun sense champions in the House and send the permit to purchase legislation passed by the Senate last session to Governor Carney’s desk,” said Kristen Bruce, volunteer lead with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our leaders have demonstrated their commitment to keeping our communities safe, which is why we have some of the strongest gun violence prevention laws in the country. Today marks the start of another year where we have the opportunity to continue pushing Delaware forward.” 

Last session, volunteers with Moms Demand Action met with lawmakers ahead of the Senate passage of SB 2, a bill to require individuals to apply for and receive a permit prior to purchasing a handgun. A 2019 study found that permit-to-purchase requirements were associated with roughly 20 percent lower firearm homicide rates in both large cities and in suburban and rural areas. Delaware has the 13th-highest rate of gun homicide deaths in the U.S. and is an outlier among many neighboring states who already require a purchase permit for firearms, such as New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. This session, lawmakers also have the opportunity to enact legislation requiring firearms be secured safely in cars. 

In an average year in Delaware, 123 people die by guns. Gun violence costs Delaware $1.4 billion each year, of which $44.4 million is paid by taxpayers. In the 2024 Gun Law Rankings, Delaware ranks 12th for the strength of its gun laws. More information on gun violence in Delaware is available here.

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