Del. Governor: Passing Two of Five Gun Bills Likely it for Now - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Governor: Passing Two of Five Gun Bills Likely it for Now

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Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is shown signing a gun control bill into law Wednesday. (Photo: WBOC) Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is shown signing a gun control bill into law Wednesday. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. (WBOC)- Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said he thinks the state is done, for now, passing pieces of the gun control legislation announced in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Markell said that as he signed a gun control bill into law Wednesday. It was the bill to require the reporting of a lost and stolen firearm within seven days of an owner discovering a weapon is missing.

Supporters say it gives police a better way to deal with so-called "straw purchases." That practice refers to when individuals who can buy guns do so, and then give them, illegally, to those who cannot.

"Law enforcement tell us that straw purchasers have two main excuses when a gun they purchases ends up at a crime scene," Gov. Markell said. "Those two excuses are: I lost that weapon, or that weapon was stolen. We needed to eliminate these excuses."

Markell said that is what the law now does. It was one of five gun control bills his administration rolled out in January. All of them have faced stiff opposition. To date, only one other has gotten his signature. It significantly expanded background checks in Delaware.

"There are some additional steps we could take," said Markell. "But we've made great progress so far. I don't expect that we'll do anything else before June 30. After that we'll obviously be in consultation with the General Assembly."

A separate bill to make it harder for people will mental health issues to get guns is nearing full passage. Rep. Darryl Scott, D-Dover, sponsored one of the five bills - one that has not been passed. He is disappointed this is where things are as June 30 approaches.

"I thought an assault weapons ban, a high-capacity clips ban, a school safety zone were all common sense reforms that would make our public safe and also provide law enforcement with additional safety as well," Scott said. "I'm hopeful we can continue the discussion and look to bring those back in January when we come back."

Gun control bills sparked among the most fierce debates of the legislative session this year. Many opponents said bills like the one signed Wednesday will not do anything to stop criminals, and will only impact law-abiding citizens.

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