The Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released a statement responding to the Delaware General Assembly ending their session without having addressed a significant bill meant to comprehensively reform gun purchase permits in the state. The Delaware House of Representatives refused to move the bill forward, despite it passing the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee. Fortunately, earlier in the session, the Delaware General Assembly passed HB 124, a bill to prohibit domestic abusers from possessing firearms, and HB 125, a bill that comprehensively regulates the manufacture, sale and possession of undetectable, untraceable firearms.
“The Delaware legislature has once again left a significant piece of gun sense reform on the table,” said Mara Gorman, a volunteer with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Though positive strides were made in the legislature during this year’s session to address ghost guns and domestic violence, we are deeply disappointed that this important bill to require purchase permits was overlooked by House leaders, further enabling individuals with dangerous and violent histories to access guns and continue to threaten Delaware’s communities.”
SB 3 would have created a handgun qualified purchaser card in Delaware wherein a purchaser would have to present a valid permit, which expires 180 days after issuance, before any handgun purchase. Moms Demand Action drove 4,549 emails and 170 calls to state lawmakers in support of SB 3.
Hundreds of people are shot and killed or wounded in Delaware every year. Gun homicides and gun suicides increased in the state from 2010 to 2019. Requiring individuals to apply for and receive a card prior to a handgun purchase not only gives law enforcement an opportunity to deny permits to those who pose a danger to public safety and require gun safety training before being granted a permit, but also helps save lives and reduce the rampant rate of gun violence that continues to devastate the state. Many neighboring states, including Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, as well as the District of Columbia, already require a purchase permit for handgun purchases.