All posts by Matt Sullivan

In the aftermath of Las Vegas

Thoughts from Dan Maas, new executive director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Educational Fund:

As the nation mourns the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones – our prayers are with you.

Out of respect to the memory of those lost, we must act to end the cycle of violence in this country. With populations burdened with social and economic hardship, it is our mission to start from the beginning and work our way up — by reinforcing core values, promoting skill development and creating access to opportunities that empower people to rise above.

We honor those who have lost their lives to gun violence with the actions we take in our own communities and our own neighborhoods,  with meaningful engagement and support that will nurture the growth of those neighborhoods into true communities and instill hope where it cannot be found.

This opportunity will not always be here. We act now.

Support HB 222: Help families protect loved ones in crisis

Every eight days, someone in Delaware dies of a self-inflicted gunshot.

A new bill in the Delaware Legislature, HB 222 sponsored by Rep. David Bentz, will give families a chance to save the life of a loved one in crisis — by temporarily taking guns out of the equation.

Contact your representative today – and tell them you support this life-saving law.

HB 222, creating a specific legal process for Lethal Violence Protection Orders (LVPO) – similar in concept to domestic violence orders of protection – that will allow family members or law enforcement to go before a judge when a person shows signs of being a danger to themselves or others. Based on evidence presented to the court, a judge can issue a Lethal Violence Protection Order, temporarily prohibiting the person in crisis from possessing or purchasing firearms.

LVPOs are NOT permanent. Respondents may petition to have them lifted after the crisis has passed, and they automatically expire after a year unless a renewal hearing is requested.

Learn more about LVPO legislation here.

Click here to send an email directly to your legislator and tell them that Delaware needs HB 222.

Please act now. This important vote could be taken soon. On behalf of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, thank you for your continued help and action in supporting laws that will reduce gun violence in our state.

Join us for Dec. 13 town hall with Sen. Bryan Townsend and Reps. Baumbach, Kowalko and Osienski

Citizen activists, members of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence and four members of the Delaware General Assembly will gather on Dec. 13 for a town hall meeting that will recap the common-sense gun violence legislation that passed in Delaware in 2015-16, and forecast what opportunities and challenge are likely to arise in the years ahead.

“With the outcome of the presidential election, gun rights activists have started pushing for a unprecedented wave of pro-gun legislation, including legalizing silencers, allowing gun owners who have a concealed carry permit in one state to conceal carry in any other state, and eliminating Gun Free Zones,” said Erik Raser-Schramm, executive director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence. “These policies will not make our communities safer. Several good, common-sense pieces of legislation that will make our communities safer have become law in Delaware over the past several years. The question is not just about how to keep that momentum going – it’s about how we can resist a movement that would push us backwards.”

Dennis Greenhouse, chair of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Legislative Fund, and Liane Sorenson, chair of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Educational Fund, will offer reflections on the past two years and talk about how Delaware became a national leader in passing gun violence prevention legislation.

In the second half of the meeting, Sen. Bryan Townsend, Rep. Paul Baumbach, Rep. John Kowalko and Rep. Ed Osienski will appear in a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience focused on the 2017 legislative season.

The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Town Hall Meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark at 420 Willa Road in Newark. The meeting is free to the public. RSVPs are appreciated, either on the organization’s Facebook page (facebook.com/decagv) or by email to info@decagv.org.

See your lawmakers’ grades on DeCAGV’s 2016 Delaware Legislative Scorecard

The Delaware Legislative Scorecard for the 148th General Assembly (2016) grades lawmakers on their voting records and level of support for three key pieces of commonsense gun legislation this year:

HB 217: Mandates that law enforcement enter ballistic data relating to violent crime into a national database.

According to Americans for Responsible Solutions: “This legislation strengthen Delaware’s tracing laws to make it easier to prosecute criminal justice by:

  • Requiring law enforcement agencies that recover crime guns to enter all related information into the National Crime Information Center System and the the ATF’s e-Trace system;
  • Requiring law enforcement agencies that recover crime guns to quickly test-fire each weapon and submit their results to the NIBIN to determine whether the firearm is associated or related to a crime; and,
  • Requiring law enforcement agencies that recover shell casings at a crime scene to submit all related ballistics information to the NIBIN.”

HB 325: This bill closes a loophole to our gun background check laws. The current loophole allows for guns to be given to a potential purchaser if the background check is delayed for 3 days or more. In some cases a gun is given to a person who should not be in possession of a firearm. 

According to Gov. Jack Markell’s office: “The three-day limit has become known as the “Charleston Loophole” after last year’s mass shooting in which nine people were murdered in a Charleston, S.C. church. The suspected gunman, Dylann Roof, purchased the firearm used in the killings through the delayed transaction loophole after a background check took longer than three days. It was later determined that the sale should have been denied.

The effort to enact House Bill 325 was led by Rep. Ed Osienski, D-Newark, Majority Leader Rep. Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, and Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, with the support of many Delawareans and gun safety organizations such as the Delaware Coalition against Gun Violence.”

SB 83: Among other provisions, this Act amends § 1448(a)(6), Title 11 to provide that any person who is prohibited from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a deadly weapon because the person is subject to a Family Court protection from abuse order is so prohibited immediately upon the entry of the protection from abuse order from purchasing or otherwise obtaining, and within 24 hours of personal service of the order, from owning, possessing, or controlling any deadly weapon.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: “Today is a victory for common sense and a victory for safer communities. In the face of calls from Delaware’s domestic violence survivors and public safety officials, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass a law that helps keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and protect vulnerable people and their families. And with Governor Markell’s signature now affixed to this bipartisan proposal, Delaware will be a safer place to live.”

See how your representatives stood on these important initiatives on the full report card here.