DOVER, Del. (AP) — Parents of children killed in the December mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school met with Gov. Jack Markell on Tuesday as they urged Delaware lawmakers to pass new gun control measures.
“I don’t want any other mother to ever have to go through my nightmare,” said Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose 6-year-old daughter, Ana, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Marquez-Greene and the parents of two other children killed at Sandy Hook met privately with Markell before appearing with him at a news conference to express their support for gun-control legislation pending in Delaware’s General Assembly.
Among the measures supported by the parents is a bill before the state House prohibiting the manufacture, sale or unlawful possession of clips holding more than 10 bullets.
Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, noted that 11 children were able to flee to safety while the gunman, Adam Lanza, reloaded.
“Had the shooter had lower-capacity magazines with him, there would have been an opportunity, perhaps, for more children to escape,” she said, adding that Lanza left smaller-capacity clips at home and chose higher-capacity 30-round clips “to increase his kill rate, basically.”
The parents also are urging House passage of a Delaware bill that requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of a gun to police. That bill cleared the Senate by a single vote last week.
Other bills in a package of gun-control measures proposed by Markell in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting include a ban on the sale of military-style assault-type weapons, and banning guns on school property.
Delaware lawmakers last month also approved a measure expanding background checks for gun purchases to include private sales and transfers, not just those at licensed firearms dealers. That bill is awaiting Markell’s signature.
Mark Barden, who lost his 6-year-old son, Daniel, in the Connecticut shooting, said the bills introduced in the Delaware legislature make common sense and don’t infringe on anybody’s rights. Opponents who believe otherwise, he suggested, have been “misled.”
Markell told the parents that the strength and courage they’ve shown in trying to take the unimaginable tragedy they’ve suffered and turn it into something positive was “awe-inspiring.”
“There’s nothing liberal or conservative about trying to keep weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” he added. “…. These could be anybody’s kids. These parents could be any of us.”
Twenty children and six educators were shot to death by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Dec. 14 rampage before he killed himself. The gunman had earlier fatally shot his mother.
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