As the support for stricter gun policies grows across the nation, some Delaware gun owners downstate are sounding off after Governor Jack Markell and Attorney General Beau Biden unveiled a series of new gun safety proposals.
Charlie Steele, the owner of a gun shop in Lewes says he hates to see when politics is brought into a sad situation, such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, blaming the gun. “Well I’ve been selling guns for 47 years and I’ve seen all the trends come and go and there was anti-gun talk back then….a lot of anti gun talk 47 years ago so I’ve seen a lot of changes not for the better,” said Steele.
The Delaware gun safety proposals come a month after the tragic school shooting in Connecticut where 26 children and adults were killed. “We all felt bad. My suppliers all cried, the guys and girls were all upset,” Charlie said.
Meanwhile, the Delaware proposals include a ban on military assault weapons, background checks for private sales, reporting lost and stolen firearms, large magazines ban and ban on firearm possession near schools.
But according to Steele, the ban on assault weapons may not be the solution. “These guns have no more danger than a shot gun does or a gun does, there’s no big threat, they just hold more ammunition,” added Steele who performs close to 20 background checks daily at his store.
“This is a political thing as far as I am concerned, they don’t want guns it’s not about the kids to them I don’t think. I think it’s more about the kids to the NRA and gun owners. We like to see this all come to an end… believe me,” said Fred Massaroni who frequents Steele’s Gun Shop.
In the meantime, business has increased at Steele’s Gun Shop. “It increases generally because they’re talking about firearms. Any time they mention banning a certain class of firearms, we get swamped,” said Steele.
WHYY’s First reporters are following the push for stronger gun laws in the state. Tune into First on Friday February 1st for a detailed report on this matter plus hear from Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del., and Attorney General Beau Biden.