Del. officials propose new gun laws

Gov. Jack Markell has introduced four new gun control laws in Delaware.

The bills unveiled Wednesday are intended to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and people under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“These bills are about finding some common-sense answers to improve public safety and better protect our state’s bright future,” Markell said.

One bill would close a loophole allowing people to buy firearms at gun shows without undergoing a background check. Another would prohibit people from carrying guns while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A third measure requires that information on mentally ill state residents be sent to the federal instant criminal background check database.

The fourth authorizes law enforcement officials to dispose of seized firearms currently stored at facilities across the state.

Law enforcement is behind the legislation as well.

Attorney General Beau Biden said the measures are “responsible efforts” designed to provide greater protection for citizens, “to make us more safe, and to make more safe the brave men and women who serve us every day in law enforcement.”

The unveiling was held at State Police Troop 2, in the conference room named after Detective Robert Paris, who was shot to death in the line of duty. State Police Colonel Robert Coupe said this legislation would help protect men and women who serve as State Troopers and as law enforcement officers across the state.

“This is about helping our Troopers – and any law enforcement officer across the state – do their job. It’s about helping those Troopers – or anyone coming home from any job in the state, even kids coming home from school – get home safely,” Coupe said.

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