The Delaware State Senate is scheduled to take action today on bills that would require a permit to purchase a handgun and limit high-capacity magazines.
The measures were debated during a virtual meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
The day before, the sponsors Senate President pro tempore David Sokola and Majority Whip Elizabeth Tizzy Lockman said they would be place on today’s agenda if they made it out of committee, which they did.
Opposition testimony centered around constitutional issues and questioned how these measures would keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
Attorney General Kathy Jennings said studies have shown that permit-to-purchase requirements have helped to reduce gun-related homicides and suicides.
Sponsors of two bills they have said would encourage gun safety and responsible gun ownership said a floor vote would be held Thursday if the measures are released from a committee Wednesday.
Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola, D-Newark and Majority Whip Elizabeth Tizzy Lockman, D-Wilmington said in a statement Tuesday that legislation to ban high-capacity magazines and to establish a permit system to purchase a handgun have been considered in the General Assembly in recent years… and “too many lives are at risk to justify any further delay in their consideration before the full Senate.”
The following statement from Sokola and Lockman was released Tuesday night:
“The urgency for public safety laws that will protect Delawareans from the threat of gun violence gripping our communities must be carefully balanced with our duty to provide fair public notice of measures being considered by our chamber.
For that reason, we are announcing tonight that Senate Bill 3 and Senate Bill 6 will be considered by the Delaware State Senate at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, if those measures are released from committee on Wednesday, March 31.
Legislation to ban high-capacity magazines and establish a permit-to-purchase system for handguns have both been considered in the General Assembly in recent years. These policies are not new and, put simply, Delawareans have waited too long for us to act on them. Too many lives are at risk to justify any further delay in their consideration before the full Senate.”