Del. Senate to Vote on Gun Bill Tuesday - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Senate to Vote on Gun Bill Tuesday

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Legislative Hall in Dover (Photo: WBOC) Legislative Hall in Dover (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- It may soon take people longer to buy a gun in Delaware if some lawmakers get their way regarding gun control.

House Bill 325 is scheduled for a vote in the state Senate Tuesday. The bill would increase the length of time for a background check before someone can actually purchase a firearm.

Most gun sales do not happen without a federal background check. As it stands today, if a background check does not come back within three days, a dealer can sell the gun to the buyer regardless of whether that person would have passed the background check.

Some lawmakers think that is wrong, and they have proposed a change from a 3-day waiting period to a 30-day period.

People WBOC spoke with Monday say they do not think the new waiting period would be unusual.

"I think it's reasonable," said Al Rogers, a Dover resident. "If you are filing for a gun and you want to carry it, then you should be able to pass the background checks. If you don't pass it, you shouldn't be able to carry it. At all."

On the other side of the debate, some lawmakers are opposed. They say Delaware has some very common family names, especially in Sussex County. Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) says he knows people who have to wait the three days now because they have the same name as a person who is prohibited.

"If the period is extended to 30 days, we would be denying the person's right to purchase that firearm for an unreasonable amount of time," he said in a statement.

Pettyjohn tells WBOC he has been receiving a lot of emails on the matter overwhelmingly against HB 325.

There is a proposed amendment to the bill that changes the proposed 30-day waiting period to seven days. That amendment is supported by some republicans.

Others say there is a greater issue at play here and the bill does not go far enough.

"[There was] that gentleman who passed a background check, but was on the list of being watched," said Patricia Porcello of Dover. "If you're on a certain list of [being] a possible terrorist and you passed a background check, that should have been a big red flag. And you shouldn't have passed it to begin with.

She says the bill should include additional measures to prevent more problems.

It is unclear what will happen with the bill Tuesday, because there are seven different proposed amendments that would weaken the bill.

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