VIDEO | “We Are Not Waiting To Do What’s Right” – Gov. Carney Signs 6 Gun-Related Bills


As he was surrounded by lawmakers, Cabinet members, Delaware community leaders and advocates, Governor Carney delivered a message Thursday as he signed six gun-related bills into law:

“We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent tragedies like we’ve seen around the county from happening here in Delaware. We are not waiting to do what’s right – to take steps that will make our state safer,” Carney said. “This historic gun safety legislation would not have been possible without the dedication of advocates who demanded action across our state. I’d like to thank members of the General Assembly for working to pass these bills before the end of session.”

The bills that were signed Thursday are:

(HB 450) banning what are described as assault weapons

(HB 451) raising the age to purchase most firearms from 18 to 21

(HB 423) reinstating the Firearm Transaction Approval Program,

(SS 1 for SB 6) limiting high capacity magazines

(SB 302) holding gun manufacturers and dealers accountable for reckless or negligent actions that lead to gun violence

(SB 8) banning devices that convert handguns into fully automatic weapons

“Delawareans across our state have demanded that we take action to reduce the gun violence and address the mass shootings gripping our nation,” State Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola, D-Newark said. “After several years of effort, we are finally fulfilling our promise to protect our communities and our children. I am proud of my colleagues for standing strong against the lobbying effort of the NRA to do what’s right for the safety of our families. Governor Carney and the advocates who have long worked to build consensus around this package of strong public safety bills deserve a tremendous amount of credit for raising the bar on responsible gun ownership in the First State.”

“It feels like every time there is another mass shooting in our country, people ask why aren’t we doing something to try to prevent these tragedies. Last month, two 18-year-olds purchases assault-style, semi-automatic rifles and used them to murder nearly 30 people. These are just the most recent high-profile mass shootings in America, and they once again shocked our national conscience,” House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst stated. “In Delaware, we have been a leader in strengthening background checks, closing the Charleston loophole, passing red flag laws, banning bump stocks and enacting other commonsense gun safety laws. This month, we showed again by our actions that we are a leader on this issue, passing a strong, comprehensive package of bills that will effectively end the sale, use and possession of assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines in Delaware, raise the age to purchase firearms, hold gun dealers accountable for reckless actions, ban devices that will increase the rate at which weapons can be fired, and further strengthen our background check system. Taken together, these are some of the strongest gun safety laws in the nation and will help prevent future tragedies.”

“Advocates have organized around these specific policies for years,” said Traci Murphy, Executive Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence. “Today is proof that we are most effective when we speak together with one powerful voice that says simply, enough. We thank the Governor and the General Assembly for standing with the majority of Delawareans and for prioritizing the lives of our children, the safety of our families, and the health of our communities.”

Additional reactions:

“Today, Delaware took another step forward to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of those who would do hard with them. This common-sense gun safety legislation will make Delaware a safer place to live, work, and go to school” said Delaware State Education Association President Stephanie Ingram. “Our schools and communities are safer thanks to the fast-acting work of our legislators.”

“This is a crucial moment for the gun violence prevention movement, and Delaware has met it with meaningful action,” said Monisha Henley, Senior Director of State Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “I grew up in Wilmington. I saw firsthand the impact of this crisis on families and neighbors — and I know these bills will save lives, and ease the fear that my community experiences. Governor Carney, as one of those Wilmington neighbors, knows this too. I thank him for signing this important package, displaying his leadership and commitment to tackling this issue head-on.”

“After senseless mass shootings that continue to show up on the front pages, we are thankful that leaders like Governor Carney and groups like the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence are taking the initiative to protect our communities,” said Sean Holihan, Giffords State Legislative Director. “This legislation will help ensure that families will no longer have to fear grocery stores and that children will no longer fear classrooms. We thank the Governor, Speaker Schwartzkopf, President Pro Tempore Sokola, Majority Leaders Longhurst and Townsend, and Majority Whip Mitchell for their swift efforts to pass this package of legislation and urge elected officials in other states to follow their lead.”

“Less than a month after the March For Our Lives this year in D.C., historic change is coming to Delaware including the ban of sales of assault weapons, and returning the right of people in Delaware to hold gun manufactures accountable for their reckless, illegal and immoral behavior,” said Jasmine Minhas, March For Our Lives Delaware Organizer. “This proves that organizing works, that real change is possible, and that states will lead the way to safety. We thank Governor John Carney, the state Assembly and Senate, as well as everyone who has advocated tirelessly alongside the young people of Delaware for gun violence prevention in the state of Delaware. Together, we will save lives.”

“One thing is clear: Delaware has been made safer today with the signing of these bills,” said Mara Gorman, a volunteer with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our leaders in Delaware are heeding the call to act on our gun violence crisis.  This public safety package will keep guns out of the hands of individuals who shouldn’t have them, prohibit devices that make guns more deadly, and bring accountability to an industry that has helped prop up this gun violence crisis. We thank Governor Carney for taking action and signing these bills.”