Local, national and world news stories of interest.
 #110902  by CorBon
Gov. John Carney calls for Delaware ban on assault weapon sales

https://www.delawareonline.com/story/ne ... 366799002/

Gov. John Carney is calling for a ban on assault weapon sales in Delaware, an announcement sure to put the state at the center of a national debate over gun control that has intensified following a mass shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.

"Military-style weapons can be used to carry out catastrophic acts of violence," he said in a release issued Friday morning. "It’s past time to take serious action to confront this threat."

The governor's office said Carney plans to work with legislators in the General Assembly to craft a bill for introduction in the coming weeks.

Carney is not seeking to ban guns already purchased legally, spokesman Jonathan Starkey said. Instead, he wants to prevent any more from being purchased from local gun shops.

Exactly how Carney defines "assault weapons" – a major sticking point in proposed bans elsewhere – was not immediately clear Friday. The term is a contentious issue among gun-rights advocates who claim it is meant to inflame fear without offering much in the way of an actual definition.

The governer's statement alternatively refers to "assault-style rifles" and "military-style weapons."

"The military uses a whole different kind of gun than what he's talking about," said Beth Parsons, owner of the Dover gun store Shooter's Choice.

"The military also carries sidearms," she said. "What people don't realize is that whether you're talking about an assault-style rifle, a handgun or a shotgun, they are all the same in that one pull of the trigger fires one bullet."

Also not clear Friday was whether Delaware residents and visitors would be able to purchase the weapons elsewhere and then bring them into the state under Carney's proposal.

"These are questions that will all be part of a conversation between the governor and legislators," Starkey said. "We understand this is a complicated issue, which is one reason why we need to have this conversation."

The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence cheered Carney's announcement on Friday. Formed in 2013, the group's mission to promote "sensible" gun laws, including a stop to the "ready availability of military-style weapons."

"I commend Gov. Carney for bringing this issue to the forefront and proposing, hopefully, a piece of legislation to ban assault weapon sales," said Dennis Greenhouse, who chairs the coalition's lobbying arm. "It's important that every Delawarean support this future bill and I look forward to working with his administration and the General Assembly in getting it passed."

Gun rights advocates, such as state Sen. David Lawson, characterized the governor's proposed ban as bad policy based on a knee-jerk reaction to the recent Florida shooting.

"They never let a bad disaster go to waste," he said of gun control advocates.

"You're going to have mass killings no matter what because you've got mass nuts out there. This all boils down to mental illness," he said. "Disarming law-abiding citizens is the wrong way because only law-abiding citizens obey the law. The criminals will still have these weapons, except now we won't be able to protect ourselves."

Very few crimes in the United States or Delaware are ever committed by someone using a long gun, such as a rifle or a shotgun, said Jeff Hague, president of the Delaware State Sportsman's Association.

But he said it's too soon to take a position on Carney's proposal.

"Our concern is protecting due process but other than that there are very few specifics here for me to comment on," he said. "I will say we always look forward to working with the governor to help protect public safety. But to me, this is a mental health issue and obviously, people with mental health issues are not being identified soon enough."

Parsons said he believes the governor's announcement will result in more guns being sold, not less – at least in the short term.

"People are just going to say, 'I better get one quick while I still can,'" she said. "I don't think he realizes what he's doing."

Other gun control measures

Carney's request for a bill that bans assault-weapons sales is the latest in a series of gun control measures that have been working their way through General Assembly already this year.

Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill to ban bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at a rate that rivals their fully automatic counterparts.

The after-market devices were thrust into the national spotlight following an Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 concertgoers and injured another 550 — the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Bump stocks were attached to 12 weapons found in shooter Stephen Paddock's hotel room and are credited with helping him fire off 1,100 rounds in 15 minutes.

That legislation was voted out of a House committee in January but is facing stiff opposition from local gun rights groups who say the bill would turn people who legally purchased the devices into felons overnight.

Carney in January also threw his support behind a bill that would allow a judge to bar someone from owning a gun if a mental health worker tells police the person is a danger to themselves or others.

Titled the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act after the late former attorney general, the measure also would expand the list of people who are prohibited from owning a gun in Delaware because of mental illness.

Under current state law, only people involuntarily committed to a mental institution are banned from owning guns. The bill would add people found not guilty of a crime by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial because of a mental illness.

A national debate

Both of those measures and a few others all were introduced before the Feb. 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and injured 14 others.

Since then, gun control has again become the center of national debate.

Florida lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted against considering an assault weapons ban despite support from students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived this month's deadly attack.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has ordered the Justice Department to look into banning bump stocks, even as the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives continues its review of whether it can even regulate the devices without action from Congress.

Trump has since endorsed arming some teachers to protect schools against school shootings.

Just hours before Carney announced his intention to ban assault-weapon sales, Trump also warned that Democrats are "looking to take away your Second Amendment," according to various news reports.

In a release, Carney said his proposed ban is part of a long-running effort to strengthen gun safety laws and "give law enforcement the tools they need to more effectively confront gun violence."

"We’re also continuing to work with school districts to ensure that Delaware schools have up-to-date safety plans, and to provide training so students and educators know how to act in the face of violence," he said. "But more needs to be done."

Despite proposing a state ban on assault weapon sales, Carney said a national approach is needed. He urged Trump and Congress to also consider a ban on assault weapons. The federal government instituted a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms in 1994 but that regulation expired in 2004.

Delaware, meanwhile, is still struggling with how to regulate guns in state-owned parks and forests.

A decades-old ban on weapons in state-owned land was shot down by a state Supreme Court ruling in early December.

New rules have been proposed that would allow people to legally possess and openly carry firearms in most park, forest and wildlife areas, except in certain designated areas such as park offices, visitor centers and camping areas. The proposed rules would not apply to anyone with a valid Delaware concealed carry permit.

A public hearing on the proposed regulations is set for 6 p.m. March 16 at DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Auditorium at 89 Kings Highway in Dover.

This story will be updated.

Contact reporter Scott Goss at (302) 324-2281, sgoss@delawareonline.com or on Twitter @ScottGossDel.
 #110905  by NCC
Often quoted, but usually only one line of it.

Thomas Jefferson to William Smith

Paris Nov. 13. 1787.

persevering lying. the British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, & what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. yet where does this anarchy exist? where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? and can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. they were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. god forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. the people cannot be all, & always, well informed. the past which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive; if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. we have had 13. states independant 11. years. there has been one rebellion. that comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. what country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? let them take arms. the remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it's natural manure. our Convention has been too much impressed by. . .
 #110908  by airman1968
This starts with so called AR's then next it will be semi automatic handguns, then revolvers, single shot handguns, slingshots, tasers, pepper spray and at that point we can be called New Jersey. Tyranny is in the the near future.
 #110909  by FNshooter
So he wants to ban a rifle that hasn't caused any problems in Delaware but yet turns a blind eye to people shooting each other on a daily basis in Wilmington.

Sounds like Carney is just injecting himself into the Dems popularity contest.

Its a sad day.
 #110924  by NCC
rosco87 wrote:https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyDE/p ... 1228615839

Sign the petition! It may not do anything but it may show he is not acting in our best interest!
But, but, I don't use Social Media.
 #110926  by Owen
NCC wrote:But, but, I don't use Social Media.
I don't either, but you can still sign it. 8-)