A Delaware gun violence prevention organization is collecting candidates’ opinions on gun safety.
Leading up to September’s primary election, a Delaware organization devoted to gun violence prevention will educate voters on candidates’ positions on gun regulations.
The Delaware Coalition against Gun Violence will distribute questionnaires to candidates vying for seats in the House and Senate, as well as candidates in the gubernatorial race, to collect their views on several gun safety topics.
The information, as well as incumbent candidates’ voting history, will be used to create the guide, which will be distributed to Delaware voters in the summer. The coalition said it’s the state’s first voter guide to focus on gun safety.
“We felt it was important to do this to allow candidates the opportunity to let their constituents know how they feel about gun safety issues,” said Dennis Greenhouse, chair of the group’s 501c4 board, and former New Castle County Executive.
“Other organizations have been putting out voter guides for a long time and we felt we should also be doing that,” he said.
Candidates will be given the opportunity to explain their positions on issues ranging from background checks to ineligibility for individuals on the federal terrorist watch list.
Greenhouse said voters also should be aware of gun safety legislation put forth by the candidates.
State Representatives Edward Osienski, D-Newark, Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, and State Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, have introduced legislation that aims to close a loophole that allows for guns to be given to a potential purchaser if the background check is delayed for three days or more.
This legislation passed in the House in April, and must pass in the Senate before it can be signed into law.
Greenhouse said there are several other gun safety issues effecting Delawareans, such as proper gun storage and ease of access for those who may be a danger to themselves or others.
Chairman of the Delaware GOP said candidate questionnaires “offer voters a unique opportunity to learn where candidates stand on issues. Though, it is the decision of individual candidates as to whether or not they reply to these vehicles.”
Greenhouse added that the questionnaire may also spark a discussion on several ideas to keep residents safe, while protecting amendment rights.
“We are in favor of common sense gun legislation,” Greenhouse said. “We want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people but we also want to protect the rights of law abiding citizens.”