Action on gun violence moves to Legislative Hall this month with the introduction of SB 83, a bill to strengthen protections for victims of domestic abuse.
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence strongly supports SB 83, which will:
- Prohibit gun possession by a person convicted of misdemeanor dating partner violence within the past 5 years;
- Prohibit gun possession by a person convicted of a violent misdemeanor against a former cohabitant (person who lived with the perpetrator during the past 5 years);
- Prohibit gun purchases by an abuser while he or she is subject to an emergency Protection From Abuse order;
- Ensure that domestic abusers ordered to surrender their guns do so by requiring them to identify to the court how they have done so, and clarifying the procedure for surrender.
SB 83 was introduced this week by Senator Margaret Rose Henry of Wilmington. It has attracted national attention through the support of Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), which supports commonsense legislation prevent gun violence. Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011, co-founded ARS with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Giffords is scheduled to speak this afternoon to the Delaware Senate and will visit with members of both the majority and minority caucuses in the House.
Here in Delaware and around our country, domestic violence and access to guns can be a lethal mix.
If there is access to a gun in a domestic abuse situation, it is five times more likely that a woman will die.
Delaware law already prohibits persons subject to a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order from owning, possessing, or purchasing firearms. SB 83 extends the firearm prohibition to the period covered by an emergency PFA—often the most dangerous time for the person seeking protection from the court.
Women in American are 11 times more likely to be killed by a gun than women in other developed countries.
For the first time in Delaware, SB 83 will include people who are or were in dating relationships or lived together, ensuring that people who are subject to a protective order can’t have easy access to a gun.
It clarifies the procedures under which firearms are to be surrendered to law enforcement officers or turned in at a staffed police station. It also requires certification to the court that this transfer has occurred.
Contact your senator and representative in support of this bill.
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