Del. a Year After Sandy Hook: Some Changes, Not Everyone Happy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. a Year After Sandy Hook: Some Changes, Not Everyone Happy

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - After the murders one year ago Saturday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, every state in the country looked at what could be done to prevent another similar event.

There have been changes in Delaware. But they're changes not everyone's been happy about.

Standing in Laurel intermediate school, Gov. Jack Markell this week touted a new safety tool for Delaware schools. The bill that led to this passed in 2012. But Markell pushed the implementation timeline up after Sandy Hook.

The governor points to another item as the most important thing the legislature did last year in response to Sandy Hook.

"To invest significantly in behavioral health consultants for middle school students," he said.

Markell also pushed for five new gun control laws in early 2013. Only two passed - expanded background checks and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns. Still he's proud of those new laws.

"If you look across the country, over the last year, at states that have implemented some sort of additional gun safety protection, you will find Delaware did more than just about anybody."

But State Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, doesn't think Delaware is safer for those laws. And he believes school safety got lost in the gun control debate.

"It got lost in the idea that it was an opportunity to do gun control instead of people control," Lawson said.

A number of Republican school safety proposals never went anywhere, including one Lawson sponsored to look at putting panic exits in first floor classrooms.

"I'm not saying nothing has been done," he said. "I'm saying nothing concrete that we can go to a parent with and say, 'You're child is safer because...'"

Gov. Markell says the state has taken important steps.

"But I'd also say the work is never over," he said. "We have to maintain our vigilance for sure."

Markell wouldn't say speculate on if the gun control bills that didn't pass in 2013 would come up in the 2014. Those are an assault weapons ban, a high capacity magazine ban and putting a gun-free zone around schools.

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