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New Castle County Council Passes Two Lifesaving Gun Safety Ordinances Introduced by County Executive Matt Meyer; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond 

June 12, 2024

Volunteers with the Delaware Chapter of Moms Demand Action Advocated for Passage of Ordinances 23-085 and 23-086 in Council Committee Hearing Yesterday, June 11 

NEW CASTLE COUNTY, De. – The Delaware chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, issued the following statements applauding the New Castle County Council for passing two lifesaving gun violence prevention ordinances to keep Delaware communities safe, Ordinances 23-085 and 23-086. These two ordinances were recently introduced by New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in a package that included Ordinance 23-084. Volunteers with the Delaware Chapter of Moms Demand Action advocated for the passage of these two measures in a Committee hearing. 

“As someone who grew up in New Castle County, I’m proud to see our local officials leading on gun violence prevention by unanimously passing ordinances that will save lives,” said Monisha Henley, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Local gun safety laws are critical to keeping our communities safe, especially when they protect sensitive places from the potential dangers of firearms and promote responsible gun ownership at the point of purchase. I urge localities across the country to follow in the footsteps of New Castle County leaders.”

“We know that gun violence prevention requires all of us – and we’re grateful to our councilmembers and County Executive Meyer for making sure that our localities are leading on this effort,” said Anne McWalter, a volunteer with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action. “From ensuring that rifles and shotguns are kept out of sensitive locations like county buildings and police departments to ensuring that firearm retailers implement best security practices these three ordinances are common sense measures that will take proactive steps to keep our communities safe. These are the type of gun safety measures that our community needs.” 

The ordinances passed by the County Council include: 

  • Ordinance 23-085, which would require firearm retail businesses to implement best security practices to protect against theft, including video surveillance, security alarms, and physical barriers on doors and windows.
  • Ordinance 23-086, which would prohibit firearms in county buildings and police departments. It would also require clearly visible signs denoting a “gun-free zone” to be posted at building entrances. This ordinance provides several exemptions, including for law enforcement, concealed carry of handguns by those with valid carry permits, and carry by military service members. 

These ordinances were introduced alongside a third ordinance that has not yet been heard, Ordinance 23-084, which would restrict where future firearm retail businesses can locate within the county. They will not be permitted within 500 ft of residential areas, or 1,000 ft of schools, daycares, or government parks.. 

Delaware has the 12th-strongest gun safety laws in the country, but gun violence in the state has resulted in Delaware having the 36th-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. Local ordinances are a key part of continuing to fight to keep communities safe, especially in New Castle County where nearly 60% of the population of Delaware resides. 

In an average year in Delaware, 123 people die by guns and another 305 are injured. Gun violence costs Delaware $1.4 billion each year, of which $44.4 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Delaware is available here.

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