By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer
In response to IPoD 20th District State Representative candidate, Don Ayotte’s criticism of incumbent St. Rep. Steven Smyk’s support for more restrictive gun control legislation in the form of House Bill 325 , aired live on last Friday’s Dan Gaffney Morning Show (WXDE 105.9 FM), Delaware House of Representatives Minority Caucus Communications Officer, Joe Fulgham has issused the following response, apparently on behalf of Representative Smyk:—————————————————————————————————–
During your show today from Jimmy’s Grille, Don Ayotte was briefly interviewed.
During his time on-air, Mr. Ayotte made several factual errors regarding public policy. Specifically, he mischaracterized the actions of State Rep. Steve Smyk regarding House Bill 325 – a measure that lengthens the potential period a gun-buyer may have to wait for a background check before he or she can legally purchase a firearm.
Rep. Smyk was asked by the National Rifle Association to sponsor an amendment to the bill exempting LEOSA licensees (active and certain retired law enforcement officers) from the waiting period. These officers already undergo background checks and screenings that exceed the statutory requirement for firearms purchases.
The NRA understood that once that amendment was successfully attached, protocol would require Rep. Smyk to vote in favor of the amended bill. The edited legislation was approved by the House with 22 votes – one more than was needed for passage.
Both the National Rifle Association and the Delaware Sportsmen Association supported Rep. Smyk’s actions on this measure.
The bill was later approved in the Senate, but not before it was amended to reduce the potential waiting period from 30 to 25 days. That required the altered legislation to again be considered by the House, which voted on it June 22nd.
In the second vote, Rep. Smyk was no longer bound by procedure to support the measure. He voted “no,” but it was again approved by the House, this time on a vote of 21 to 18. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Joe Fulgham, Communications Officer Delaware House of Representatives Minority Caucus
In response to Mr. Fulgham’s statement and its political context, Mr. Ayotte has issued the following statement:“ That Mr. Smyk could not or would not directly defend his legislative record and instead resort to using a state employee in his stead, seems highly inappropriate and indicative of his generally poor legislative record and lack of ability to represent the people of the 20th District. The end result is that Smyk got the bill passed by adding an amendment favoring special police interests at public expense by further infringing on our Second Amendment rights, while receiving campaign contributions from lobbyists and special interests.
Mr. Fulgham’s apparent political political participation in this matter under cover of a state e-mail address is out of order and raises institutional bias and public integrity questions, as a statement of this nature should have more appropriately originated from the Smyk campaign.Delaware has been rated as 48th in public integrity in a recent survey of fifty states. People want a state legislator who will truly represent them — not police them. In contrast to my opponent, I fully intend to safeguard constitutional liberties and the greater public interest in the face of special interest controlled politics as usual as your next 20th District State Representative.”