Del. Lawmakers Approve Expanded Gun Background Checks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Lawmakers Approve Expanded Gun Background Checks

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DOVER, Del. (AP/WBOC) - The Delaware State Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill expanding criminal background checks on gun purchases to include most transactions between private sellers and buyers.
    
The Democrat-led Senate voted 13-8 Thursday to approve the measure. It now goes to Gov. Jack Markell for his signature. The governor told reporters after the vote a time for an official bill signing had not yet been set, but it would happen soon.
    
The legislation is part of a five-bill package of gun-control measures proposed by Markell in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting in December. Lawmakers are still looking at the other four.
    
Supporters say background checks on private sales will make it harder for criminals to get guns. Opponents say the bill is simply another gun control measure that will be ignored by criminals.

"If it can protect one child, I'm willing to sit and wait for two minutes to make sure that a family member here or anywhere else doesn't have to spend a lifetime not being able to speak to a child or a member of a family who is a victim of a crime. We should all be willing to do that," said Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes.

"The amendment says it shall not be infringed," Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, said. "That means keep your hands - keep our hands - off of it. But, no, we keep nicking away at it. We nicking it, and it continues to bleed. It's called death by 1000 cuts in the attempt to control evil. We can't do that."

Gov. Markell complimented the Delaware legislature on doing what Wednesday the US Senate was not able to do.

"I really believe that they squandered an opportunity in Washington to do something that will make people in this country safer. I'm so appreciative that we did squander that opportunity. We took the opportunity in Delaware."

The new law would take effect July 1 in Delaware.

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