Frustrated by lack of federal action, Delaware joins the “States for Gun Safety” coalition

Delaware joined with 5 other states and Puerto Rico last month to form a multi-state task force to gather and share information, intercept illegal gun purchases in the region, and coordinate response efforts to gun violence. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Delaware make up the coalition and are taking steps towards regional cooperation in reducing gun violence.

The purpose of the coalition is to trace and intercept illegal gun trafficking in the region. It will also build a database of intelligence, such as background checks, firearm and permit denials, and those who are not permitted to purchase or possess firearms under the states’ laws. Sharing this information will allow the states to work together and create stronger responses to gun violence.

When an individual is denied a permit or purchase in one state, it will alert the others and prevent sales in those states. It will improve background checks by alerting other states that an individual has an order of protection against them, or if they have a history of mental illness. Persons who may not purchase or possess firearms include anyone with an order of protection against them, anyone who has been committed to a hospital or mental health facility for mental illness, and anyone who has a criminal history.

The Coalition was formed by the Governor Cuomo of New York, Governor Murphy of New Jersey, Governor Malloy of Connecticut, and Governor Raimond 0f Rhode Island. Several governors expressed frustration with the Federal Government and the President for lack of action in response to the gun violence epidemic.

“Our states collectively already have better gun safety laws than the federal government, and by working together to share information and bolster enforcement, we will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and better protect our communities. If the federal government refuses to act, we will work together to enact the important reforms families deserve, and I welcome these new states to our coalition.”

–Governor Cuomo, New York.

“Together, we can take steps and enact measures to protect our residents and our communities. A collective of states can broaden the reach and impact of gun safety laws even if Congress or the President do not take action.”

–Governor Murphy, New Jersey

Delaware, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico become the latest to join the multi state task force.

“This partnership will help us better share data across state borders, intercept the flow of illegal guns, and provide law enforcement with more tools to stop violence before it happens. Delaware is proud to join this partnership, and we look forward to getting to work.”

–Governor Carney, Delaware

Participating states would also be required to designate an institution of higher education to join the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium. It will be a multi-disciplinary data collection group that will make recommendations on how gun violence can be reduced.

“The federal government has had a provision in place now for over 20 years that effectively bars the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention from studying gun violence,” Governor Murphy said. “So it has devolved to the states. And our thought is perhaps we can do it in a coordinated way. Things like meaningfully propelling smart gun technology.”

Joining the coalition is just one of many steps the state of Delaware is taking in regards to gun reform.

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