Dover –The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DeCAGV) announced today its support for a package of common sense bills designed to prevent gun violence and increase the safety of all Delawareans. The proposed legislation will:
- Require Background Checks for Private Firearm Sales (House Bill 35);
- Require the Reporting of Lost and Stolen Firearms;
- Ban Possession of a Firearm Within 300 Feet of a School;
- Ban the Sale, Manufacture, Delivery and Unlawful Possession of Large-Capacity Magazines; and
- Ban the Manufacture, Sale, Delivery and Unlawful Possession of Military Weapons.
“We are here to focus lawmakers on the fact that public support for these common sense changes in Delaware laws will help keep guns out of the wrong hands and secure the safety of our citizens and communities,” stated retired, long-time State Senator Liane Sorenson (R-Newark). “We are parents, teachers, clergy, grandparents, nurses, friends, and gun owners from all parts of the state and from varying political backgrounds who want to reduce gun violence and prevent mass shootings. And, there is broad and overwhelming support for these common sense changes across Delaware.”
DeCAGV members shared new polling data released this week by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence which shows very strong support for legislation to reduce gun violence. By resounding margins – and regardless of county of residence or political party self-identification — very strong majorities of Delawareans support universal background checks, safe school zones, and tougher reporting requirements for lost and stolen guns, as well as for limits on high-capacity gun magazines, and a ban on new sales of military-style weapons. The polling numbers are clear:
- Require Background Checks for Private Firearm Sales (House Bill 35): 88-11;
- Require the Reporting of Lost and Stolen Firearms: 86-12;
- Ban Possession of a Firearm Within 300 Feet of a School: 75-22;
- Ban the Sale, Manufacture, Delivery and Unlawful Possession of Large-Capacity Magazines: 64-33; and
- Ban the Manufacture, Sale, Delivery and Unlawful Possession of Military Weapons: 59-36.
“Expanded background checks (House Bill 35) enjoy nearly universal support in Delaware,” said Lynne Howard, DeCAGV legislative committee member. “94% of Democrats, 82% of Independents, and 85% of Republicans support expanded checks. Support is equally strong in each of Delaware’s three counties. Moreover, geographic and partisan political support is almost as deep for requirements to report lost and stolen guns to end ‘straw purchases.”
Added Elder Tyrone Johnson of Churches Take a Corner in Wilmington, and a founding member of DeCAGV: “People have a right to be free of gun violence and to feel safe in their own communities, their own homes. We must reject the idea that says it’s all or nothing on guns–people can support smart, common sense change to our state’s gun laws and gun ownership, too.”
DeCAGV also called for Delaware’s gun laws to address the problem that military-style guns and gun hardware are readily available for sale. And, to tackle the glaring loopholes closed by HB 35; including the need to keep guns out of the hands of people on a terrorist watch list or with a criminal record, and those with a history of serious mental illness or domestic violence.
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence’s (DeCAGV) goal is a citizen-led effort to prevent gun violence in Delaware by promoting sensible, common sense gun laws and addressing the root causes of gun violence. DeCAGV is a statewide coalition of parents, teachers, clergy, grandparents, nurses, friends, gun owners, and like-minded groups and institutions. Following in the footsteps of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, DeCAGV shares the view of most Delawareans that we can support the second amendment and still achieve common sense gun laws. For further information, visit www.decagv.org.