GOP Lawmaker Looks to Revisit Part of Failed Gun Control Proposa - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

GOP Lawmaker Looks to Revisit Part of Failed Gun Control Proposal

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Part of a failed gun control proposal in Delaware is getting new life from a Republican lawmaker.

The proposal allowed mental health professionals to report potentially dangerous people to police, and, after a hearing, law enforcement could seize guns belonging to those people.

That bill died last week in the State Senate.

The House of Representatives passed it 40 to 1 last year. Senators didn't feel the same way. They voted it down. And it couldn't find enough support to come back up this year.

But a Sussex County senator says one part of the bill had broad support.

Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, had number of issues with the original bill, HB 88. Part he didn't have an issue with added a group of people to the list of those in Delaware who can't possess guns.

"HB 88 had provisions in there to add people who were found not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill or mentally incompetent to stand trial," he said.

Basically, if you're declared mentally unstable as a part of a trial for a violent crime, you can't have a gun. Pettyjohn says it's a loophole in state law.

"Those people already are now prohibited from purchasing a firearm in a different section of Delaware Code. But they weren't included in persons prohibited from possessing a firearm."

Pettyjohn says there was a lot of support on both sides of the aisle for this portion of the bill. HN 88 came from Attorney General Beau Biden's office.

"The Attorney General's bill would have saved lives and was in direct response to mass shootings, such as the one in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater," a spokesman for Biden said, of Pettyjohn's bill. "This proposal would not address any of the recent mass shootings."

"The bill they proposed didn't make it through the general assembly," said Pettyjohn. "The general assembly wasn't ready to pass that kind of bill, because of the concerns around how it was written. This is one step in the right direction."

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