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.
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
Statement on Pulse Night Club Mass Shooting
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence and its 31 affiliated state gun violence prevention organizations comprising States United to Prevent Gun Violence are saddened and horrified by today’s shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, FL. Saddened and horrified, but not shocked. We are no longer surprised when someone motivated by hatred is able to easily obtain assault-style weapons and rounds upon rounds of ammunition, turning another place of joy and celebration into a site of devastation and mourning.
Reports indicate that this shooting — with fifty killed and at least fifty more injured — is the deadliest mass shooting in American history. The shooter was an American citizen and officials are investigating this as an act of terrorism. In truth, every mass shooting is an act of terrorism — it incites fear and terror and aims to create chaos and panic.
In the coming days, we will learn more about the shooter, and more about the victims, survivors and heroes who braved danger to help others. We will mourn with the grieving families and friends as they lay their loved ones to rest. We will listen to politicians express platitudes while doing nothing to keep the weapons of war off our streets. So while we send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and survivors, we also pledge to honor them with a demand for action NOW for stronger gun laws and commonsense policies to keep our loved ones safe.
Arizonans for Gun Safety
Women Against Gun Violence
Connecticut Against Gun Violence Ed Fund
Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence Ed Fund
Georgians for Gun Safety
Hawaii Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence
Iowans for Gun Safety
Maine Gun Safety Coalition
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence
Stop Handgun Violence
Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence
Grandparents Against Gun Violence (MO)
Coalition of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence
New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence Education Fund
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
Oklahoma Gun Sense
Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence
The Safe Tennessee Project
Texas Gun Sense
Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah
Virginia Center for Public Safety
Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Ed Fund
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
TELL THE DELAWARE SENATE: PROVIDE ENOUGH TIME FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS ON GUN PURCHASES
HB 325, which has already passed the Delaware House, is slated to be considered in the Senate this week. DeCAGV strongly supports this bill. Here’s a Q+A about how HB 325 will close a dangerous loophole in our system.
Download a copy of this document (pdf) and share it with your friends: Yes on 325—DeCAGV
What is the purpose of HB 325?
This bill closes a dangerous loophole in Delaware’s background check system that allows gun sales to proceed by default after just three business days—without a completed federal background check. HB 325 would allow up to 30 days for the completion of a background investigation.
Why is HB 325 needed?
From 2013–2015, 40 individuals who successfully purchased firearms in Delaware were later determined to be prohibited from possessing a gun. This is dangerous. In each case, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had to put its agents at risk to retrieve the weapons. And this hardly accounts for the risk to the public.
Why is this called the “Charleston Loophole?”
The three-day background check loophole has come to be known as the Charleston Loophole. Last summer nine black churchgoers were killed in Charleston, S.C., during a prayer service. The shooter—who would not have passed a back-ground check—was able to purchase the gun he used after three business days when the federal background check was still incomplete. Nationally, from 2010–2014, gun dealers completed 15,729 gun sales to ineligible people due to the expiration of the three-day period.
Isn’t this a Federal issue?
Despite the fact that the Federal system has been chronically underfunded—and, more recently, overwhelmed by a nationwide surge in gun sales—more than 90 percent of background checks are processed within minutes or hours. Other cases require extra attention precisely because the firearm purchaser has a complicated record of red flags. As reported in The Trace, default-proceed sales are eight times more likely to involve a prohibited purchaser than other background checks. And because Federal legislation to close this loophole is currently unlikely, states have begun to act.
Is HB 325 constitutional?
Since the Supreme Court’s 2008 opinion, DC v. Heller, most courts have held that a gun law violates the Second Amendment only if it does not serve an important or significant government interest, or if the law does not reasonably “fit” that interest. HB 325 easily passes this test. It serves a compelling government interest: preventing firearm possession by convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and other people who cannot pass a background check. And the “fit” between HB 325 and this interest is clearly reasonable, given that it would allow a law-abiding, responsible person to obtain a gun as soon as the background check is completed—and, if the background check cannot be quickly completed, during the period of up to 30 days.