Gov. John Carney and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long issued statements on the final passage of the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act.
“This legislation — one piece in a comprehensive package of gun safety reform — takes responsible steps to protect Delaware communities by keeping firearms away from those who pose a danger to themselves or others,” said Carney. “This is commonsense, bipartisan reform that will make our state safer, while protecting the due process rights of all Delawareans. This legislation also will ensure that Delaware’s health professionals and law enforcement are working more closely together when it comes to the issue of gun safety. Thank you to Rep. Bentz, Sen. Henry and all members of the General Assembly from both parties for their leadership on this issue. I look forward to signing this important piece of legislation, and I would urge all legislators to take additional action on gun safety reform that will make our state safer.”
“Today, Delaware moved a step closer toward protecting our communities and our schools from those who pose a danger to themselves and others,” said Hall-Long. “We must work together to remove guns from those who are too dangerous to possess them. Beau Biden realized that and took action. I was proud to work with Beau and supported this legislation when he introduced it in 2013. I thought it was necessary then, and I think it’s imperative now, that we do all we can to remove guns from these individuals and get them the mental health treatment they need.”
The Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act would add to the list of persons prohibited from owning a firearm any person who has been committed to a hospital for treatment of a mental condition; and perpetrators of violent crimes who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill or mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Those individuals are currently not prohibited from owning firearms under current law. The legislation also would require health professionals to report to law enforcement anyone they believe presents a danger to themselves or others. Appropriate law enforcement agencies must then investigate — and may seek a court order to require individuals to relinquish firearms, if they are found to present a danger.
The legislation also allows affected individuals to appeal orders to the Supreme Court, and petition to have their firearms returned.
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