Last week, the state Senate announced three gun safety bills stalled in the Senate Executive Committee. The legislation would require a purchase permit for all gun sales, prohibit assault weapons and limit large-capacity magazines.
Until recently, the outlook for these bills was promising. A column from the News Journal’s Matthew Albright pointed out that after Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride swore to get the bill onto the floor, “it would take true incompetence to muck things up again.”
On Friday, Senator Brian Townsend, who was a sponsor on all three pieces of legislation, expressed his displeasure that the bills have apparently stalled in committee:
“We were told for months that gun bills would get a floor vote this year. Advocates were prepared to ramp up their efforts as the bills headed to the floor and literally just yesterday we were told that there won’t be a floor vote. I have long publicly praised Sen. McBride for having promised a floor vote. I don’t understand what happened.”
Volunteers with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America rallied for this legislation at the statehouse last month. In response to the bills stalling, Moms Demand Action volunteer Sarah Stowens told reporters, “Sen. McBride promised he would get these bills to the floor and he went back on that promise, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind as we go forward.
Legislative inaction disregards recent polling that indicated broad support for the gun violence prevention measures that have stalled in the Senate. In fact, the poll revealed the majority of Delawareans across the political spectrum support all three policies polled, including:requiring a permit to purchase firearms, prohibiting assault weapons and limiting large-capacity magazines.
Over the last five years, more than 500 Delawareans were shot and killed with a firearm. In light of proposed gun safety laws hitting a wall in the statehouse, there should be just one question for lawmakers: Why are they failing to take action on gun safety legislation that would help save lives?
Legislators are still hard at work this session. It’s urgent these bills be voted out of committee and brought to the floor for a vote. Lives are on the line.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a volunteer with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, please don’t hesitate to reach out.