Gov. Carney, Del. Democratic Legislative Leaders Unveil Gun Legislative Package


With four weeks to go in this Delaware General Assembly session, Governor John Carney, D-Del. and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Thursday said they would push for passage of several gun-related bills.

Recent mass shootings at an elementary school in Texas and at a supermarket in Buffalo were highlighted by the supporters of the bills.

“Last week, an 18-year-old legally purchased a military-style semi-automatic rifle and used it days later to murder 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Ten days earlier, an 18-year-old used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle to kill 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. The incidents have reignited discussions across the nation about gun safety and calls for legislative action to prevent future tragedies, and we are answering that call,” House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf,, D-Rehoboth Beach, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, and House Majority Whip Larry Mitchell, D-Elsmere said in a joint statement. “Taken together, these bills will have a significant and meaningful impact in combating gun violence and preventing future tragedies from happening in Delaware. While we can’t change the past, we can learn from it and try to prevent it from happening here. We are committed to passing strong firearm legislation that will make our communities safer.”

The Governor’s office highlighted the bills as follows:

  • Banning the sale of assault weapons (HB 450)
  • Limiting high-capacity magazines (SB 6)
  • Raising the age from 18 to 21 to purchase most firearms (HB 451)
  • Strengthening background checks by reinstituting the Firearm Transaction Approval Program (FTAP) (HB 423)
  • Holding gun manufacturers and dealers liable for reckless or negligent actions that lead to gun violence (not yet introduced)
  • Banning the use of devices that convert handguns into fully automatic weapons (not yet introduced)

“We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent tragedies like we’ve seen across the country from happening here in Delaware,” Carney said. “This is a historic, meaningful package of legislation and I look forward to seeing these bills on my desk this session.”

“From news cycle to news cycle and elections cycle to election cycle, Delawareans have been steadfast in their desire to see us take action that will reduce the gun violence plaguing our communities and address the wave of mass shootings gripping our nation,” Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola, D-Newark, Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, D-Newark / Bear, and Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, D-Wilmington said in a joint statement.