Del. gun background check bill stalls in committee

by RANDALL CHASE, My San Antonio  |  published on March 14, 2013

A bill that would expand criminal background checks for gun purchases in Delaware to cover sales between private sellers and buyers stalled in a House committee Wednesday after time ran out with opponents still clamoring to speak on the issue.

The House Judiciary Committee planned to resume consideration of the bill at its meeting next week.

The legislation is part of a package of gun control measures proposed by Democratic Gov. Jack Markell in the wake of the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

Under current law, background checks are required for purchases from federally licensed firearms dealers, but not for transactions between private sellers and buyers.

Supporters of the legislation say expanding background checks to include private sales will help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

“The idea is ultimately that we will reduce the aggregate availability of firearms to criminals,” said Markell’s legal counsel Andy Lippstone, noting that every gun manufactured starts out as a legal firearm.

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