As we've outlined, risk protection orders (such as the one before the New York Assembly we profiled earlier today) are a legislative tool that give family members and law enforcement a way to protect gun owners from harming themselves or others. Now comes word from Delaware that their governor, John Carney, is putting his weight behind a similar piece of legislation:
The bill, which legislators introduced Tuesday, will be named the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act and mirror a failed legislation that was proposed by the late former attorney general, according to the governor's office.
"I think it's our moral obligation to support this piece of legislation," he said before calling on the work of Biden that propelled the bill forward originally. "We should pass this legislation in memory of our good friend and former colleague, former Attorney General Beau Biden."
The bill mirrors similar legislation in other states - in this version, mental health providers would call the police, who would conduct an investigation. If they determine the subject poses a danger, the state DoJ would then go before a judge who could compel the subject to give up his or her guns and prevent them from purchasing more.
Biden originally proposed this legislation after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, and passed it through the state House 40-1 before it died in the Senate by a margin of 13-6. This year's sponsor, Rep. David Bentz (D), thinks this year could be different:
In hindsight of the bill's original failure, Bentz said representatives did not do enough in 2013 to ensure members of the Senate fully understood the provisions of the bill. At the time, similar-minded senators and representatives split votes on issues within the legislation on which they would typically align.
He said he believes this second push will come to fruition because more care has been taken to answer those questions about due process and Second Amendment rights in the time since the failure of the bill in 2013.
We are happy to join Gov. Carney, the state Department of Health and Human Services, and the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence in supporting this legislation, and we will be grading all action.