Assault weapons vote a moment of truth (editorial)

The assault weapons ban bill (SB 163) has aroused more passion among Delawareans in the current session than any other, and now it may finally be coming up for a vote. “We hope senators will rise to the occasion and vote yes,” says this editorial, but in any case “the Senate ought to take a vote” so Delawareans will know where their elected representatives stand.

Arguments for: “Highly lethal, military-style weapons” are “overkill for any legitimate use of firearms like hunting, self-defense and sport shooting.” A very similar bill was held not to violate the 2nd Amendment in MD. And SurveyUSA recently found that 73% of likely DE voters support prohibiting the sale and possession of assault weapons.”

Arguments against: Delaware’s gun rights provision is more stringent than others, and gun rights advocates argue that penalizing law-abiding gunowners wouldn’t accomplish much [in terms of stopping school shootings]. “We understand and respect these arguments,” but if legislators vote against the proposal “they should have to justify that decision to their voters.”

Unfortunately, it remains possible that senators will “dodge a vote” by accepting the committee hold on the bill that has been previously written about at great length. Forget about protecting “the process,” let’s have a vote. “Delaware is watching.”

SAFE has urged all members of the Delaware Senate not to pass this legislation because the proposal is based on the politics versus the policy merits.
6/18/18 e-mail. There are better ways to prevent mass shootings, e.g., beefing up school security.

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