The Delaware chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings released a list of legislative priorities, including measures to create a permit to purchase, strengthen the state law enforcement use of force standard, prohibit assault weapons, limit high-capacity magazines, regulate ghost guns, and prohibit firearms at polling places.
“In many cases, the pandemic has only increased the risk of gun violence and the need for immediate action is greater than ever,” said Mara Gorman, a volunteer with Delaware Moms Demand Action. “We’re thankful to Attorney General Jennings for continuing to champion the policies that save lives from gun violence. We urge our legislators to take up these policies in the 2021 session to protect our communities.”
More on the policies outlined in the list:
Permit to Purchase
- Requiring a permit to purchase a firearm? can help prevent gun trafficking.
- When Connecticut passed a law requiring all handgun buyers to pass a background check both at the point of sale and as part of a permit process, it was associated with a 40 percent reduction in the gun homicide rate and a 15 percent reduction in the gun suicide rate.
Law Enforcement Use of Force Standard
- Every year, police in the U.S. shoot and kill more than 1,000 people, and Black people in America are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white Americans.
- Strong policies on police use of force and how they are held accountable for misconduct can reduce shootings by police and make our neighborhoods safer.
Assault Weapons Prohibition
- When assault weapons are used in a mass shooting, 6 times as many people are shot.
- Out of all mass shooting incidents between 2009 and 2018, assault weapons accounted for 32 percent of deaths and 82 percent of nonfatal injuries.
High-Capacity Magazine Prohibition
- High-capacity magazines allow a shooter to fire more rounds without pausing to reload.
- Mass shootings involving high-capacity magazines result in 14 times more injuries and twice as many deaths per incident on average compared to those that did not involve them.
Regulate Ghost Guns
- Currently, anyone can purchase the building blocks of a firearm online without a background check to create what’s known as a ghost gun. These weapons have no serial numbers, making them impossible to track when used in crimes. Legislation to prohibit the sale and manufacture of these DIY weapons will make Delaware communities safer.
Prohibit Firearms at Polling Places
- Carrying firearms visibly in public, known as open carry, is a dangerous policy that is opposed by law enforcement and the public.
- Research shows that the presence of a visible gun makes people more aggressive; therefore, open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts.
- Read more here about armed intimidation and how it silences the democratic process here.
Every year in Delaware more than 100 people are fatally shot and nearly 280 are shot and wounded. Learn more about gun violence in Delaware here.