Delaware Senate ready to vote on additional gun restrictions

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Democrat-led Senate committee on Wednesday released two bills outlawing high-capacity magazines and requiring anyone wanting to buy a handgun to first obtain a permit from the state. The move came despite concerns by critics that the bills are unconstitutional, racially discriminatory and will not reduce gun violence by criminals. After two hours of public comment in a virtual meeting attended by nearly 700 people, Judiciary Committee Darius Brown, D-Wilmington, declined to call for a public vote by committee members. The bills instead were released after being circulated privately among committee members for their signatures. The permit bill is estimated to cost taxpayers about $4 million next year to implement and about $3.6 million annually after that. After the Judiciary Committee hearing, it was signed by members of the Democrat-led Finance Committee without public notice or hearing, clearing the way for floor votes by the full Senate on Thursday. Supporters of the proposals contend that they would help reduce violent crime, gun homicides and suicides. “It will keep handguns out of criminal hands, and that will save lives,” Majority Whip Elizabeth Lockman, D-Wilmington, said of her permit bill, adding that similar measures in other states have been associated with a decline in gun deaths. Senate President Pro Tem David Sokola, D-Newark, said his bill limiting magazine capacity to 17 rounds is less restrictive than laws in other states. He cited a 2017 ruling by a divided federal appeals court that upheld a Maryland law limiting […]

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