While Governor Markell received the support of his Lt. Governor Matt Denn, and Attorney General Biden, gun rights advocates panned his plan as a violation of the Delaware Constitution.
The proposals to address gun safety issues in the First State in the wake of the Connecticut tragedy drew harsh criticism from the National Rifle Association, yet they drew praise from the Delaware State Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union.
Markell, Denn and Biden were joined by Delaware Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security Lew Schiliro, members of the General Assembly, police officers and members of the faith-based community for the unveiling of the gun safety legislation at the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington.
“The gun safety measures we are proposing will strengthen our ability to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them,” Markell said. “No one wants guns in the hands of people with ill intent. We must not arm those who would harm.
“Instead, we must enact stronger laws to protect our communities,” he said. “Reasonable gun safety laws, improvements to school safety and increased access to mental health treatment are three ways we can do better. This package of gun safety measures is directed at individuals who might impose violence with a gun.”
In a prepared statement, the NRA described the proposals as an “anti-gun agenda” pushed by Markell since he first ran for governor in 2008.
“Not only is he rejecting the Supreme Court’s repeated ruling that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but his proposals directly violate Article I Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution which says, ‘A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use,’” the NRA statement said.