Gun rights advocates speak out against Del. gun control bills

DOVER, Del. – On Wednesday, gun rights advocates packed into Legislative Hall in Dover to express their opposition against the three following gun control bills: SB 68, SB 70 and SB 82. All three bills had their first committee hearing on Wednesday.

Thomas Shellenberger, a gun rights advocate said, “The anti-gun forces feel they have enough votes to get this through. We want to show them that the people of Delaware are opposed to this action.”

Gun sense supporters who were also in attendance on Wednesday tell 47abc they feel gun control legislation is needed to crack down on violent crime in the State of Delaware and to prevent any future tragedies.

A bill supporter said, “We have not gone through what other places have yet. We hope to god we never do.”

Each of the bills that were heard by a Senate Committee on Wednesday serves a different purpose. Senate Bill 68 would ban assault weapons in the First State, and Senate Bill 70 would ban high capacity magazines. Senate Bill 82 would require people to be qualified to even purchase a gun in the first place.

Bill sponsor Sen. Laura Sturgeon (D – District 4) said, “What we’re hoping is ultimately it will reduce the proliferation of weapons in general.”

But gun rights advocates in Delaware say they are fired up about this proposed legislation. Paul Gumerman, a gun rights advocate said, “I’ve had it up to here!”

Gun rights advocates claim these bills infringe on their second amendment rights.

Gumerman said, “The language in the constitution, it’s really hard to mistake, ‘Shall not be infringed,’ it’s pretty clear. So what part of that don’t they understand?”

Sponsors argue, however, that’s not the case. Sen. Sturgeon said, “They can still own handguns, they can still own long guns, rifles, shot guns, they just don’t have an unlimited right to own or at least not to purchase as many as they want at a given time when it comes to handguns.”

Gun rights advocates say by passing these bills, lawmakers would be leaving thousands of Delawareans without protection.

Gumerman said, “This will do nothing whatsoever to increase gun safety. It won’t do anything about the violence which is concentrated in the urban areas and perpetrated by people who don’t follow the laws anyway.”

Bill sponsors say they feel it is important to make it clear that the state is against gun violence.

Sen. Sturgeon said, “We want to be able to say that as a state, you will not be able to legally get a gun if you shouldn’t have one.”

These bills are still in the very early stages.

If they get enough approval in committee today, they will then go to the Senate floor where they will be voted on.

Categories: Delaware, Local News