- Air Force cadets ‘revolt’ after officials remove biblical verse from whiteboard
- Rep. Lee: Paul Ryan out of touch with urban Americans
- House votes down resolution to force Issa to apologize
- Kremlin blocks opposition websites; Kasparov fears Putin plans ‘something drastic’
- Saving trees? EPA wastes $1.5 million storing unneeded pamphlets in warehouse
- Scott Brown Senate bid in New Hampshire may launch soon
- Jeffrey Corzine, son of ex-N.J. governor, dead at 31
- Australian surfing magazine sorry for calling indigenous surfer ‘apeish’
- Records: Man in Fla. theater shooting also was texting
- The Putin problem: U.S. needs Russian rockets for spy satellites
Del. Senate fails to revive gun prohibition bill
DOVER, Del. (AP) - An effort to revive a bill expanding the ability of Delaware authorities to prohibit people with mental health issues from having guns failed Tuesday in the state Senate on opening day of this year’s legislative session.
The bill, pushed by Attorney General Beau Biden, cleared the House last year with only one dissenting vote before being dealt a stunning defeat in the Senate, which like the House, is controlled by Biden’s fellow Democrats.
Under their rules, Senate lawmakers had three legislative days, until Tuesday, to rescind the vote.
But in closed-door caucus talks, SenateDemocrats failed to garner enough votes to rescind the vote.
The bill failed on a 13-6 Senate vote in June, with five Democrats joining Republicans in voting against it. Senate Majority Leader David McBride, D-New Castle, refused to say how many members of his caucus were unwilling to rescind the vote Tuesday.
Biden, who was on hand for last year’s Senate vote, was absent from Legislative Hall on Tuesday, although representatives of families affected by the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., traveled to Dover in anticipation of the bill’s revival.
“The bottom line is this bill will save lives,” Rogalsky said. “We’re not going to stop working on it. We’re not going away.”
But Rep. Michael Barbieri, chief sponsor of the bill, said he doesn’t expect a renewed effort during this year’s legislative session.
“I think it’s too fresh in everybody’s mind and heart,” said Barbieri, D-Newark, adding that he was frustrated and upset by Tuesday’s inaction.
Barbieri said the bill was an effort to prevent shootings by mentally unstable people, not an attempt to violate people’s Second Amendment rights to gun ownership. He said the critics had “nuanced the bill to death.”
The bill would have required mental health providers, including licensed school counselors, to call police if they believed a person posed a danger to himself or others. Police would investigate and refer the case to the attorney general’s office if they believed the person shouldn’t have access to a gun. The attorney general’s office could then ask a judge to prohibit the person from buying or possessing a gun. The judge also could order the seizure of any guns that the person owns.
Some critics feared the legislation would infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms and make it difficult for them to get their guns returned. Others expressed concern that the legislation could discourage people from seeking mental health treatment for fear that their firearms could be seized.
The National Rifle Association took a neutral stance on the bill after successfully pushing for an amendment to raise the standard of proof for declaring a person dangerous from “a preponderance of evidence” as initially written, to “clear and convincing evidence.”
TWT Video Picks
By Bob Dole
The industrious island has proved itself worthy of U.S. inclusion
- FBI blocked in corruption probe involving Sens. Reid, Lee
- F-35 secrets now showing up in Chinas stealth fighter
- USS Kidd sent to Indian Ocean after 'indication' of Malaysian jet crash
- MILLER: Law enforcement realizes good people with guns deter crime
- College group's diversity event canceled after excluding white people
- CURL: Calm down, conservatives: Obama's 'Two Ferns' bit was brilliant
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- PRUDEN: Sink sank own campaign in Florida special election
- Inside China: Why Putin's intervention in Ukraine is bad news for China
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again