By Jenn Bernstein
WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – With a signature, Delaware Governor Jack Markell strengthened gun safety laws in Delaware while family members of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims stood behind him.
Wednesday’s bill expands background checks on private party gun sales, and at gun shows, effectively closing the “gun show loophole.”
It’s the cornerstone bill of a gun violence package that state leaders spearheaded in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting.
Wednesday’s step is an emotional triumph for these Connecticut parents, who say Delaware is doing the right thing.
“I hope the leaders of other states and the politicians in Washington are watching and will follow your lead,” said Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the Connecticut shooting.
It’s been a busy 24 hours for lawmakers here in “The First State.” Just yesterday, the Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Within the hour, Governor Markell signed it into law.
Many are looking at Delaware as a state that seems to know how to get things done.
“We’re elected to stand up for things we believe in, regardless of the political consequences,” said Governor Markell.
Democrats do make up the majority of the House and Senate, and Governor Markell is a Democrat.
But both pieces of legislation passed with some bi-partisan support.
Former Republican lawmaker Liane Sorenson says some of Delaware’s productivity has to do with the Governor making these issues a priority, and, she says, the public wants to see progress.
“They don’t want gridlock. They want things to get done, they want change,” said Sorenson.