|Putting pressure on decision makers to address violence|
I am adding an amendment to HB 388, which reinstates the School Safety Fund, to make the funding annual instead of “when funds are available.” In the following weeks and months I will be working alongside the FOP and the Department of Justice to gain insight of what data and measures can help us hold criminals accountable when they commit crimes with a firearm and protect law-abiding residents. It’s time to leave reactionary policy behind and build a system that favors safe neighborhoods and cares for victims of violence.
Thank you to The Associated Press for sharing the discussion on the House floor about why violence continues to rise in Delaware neighborhoods despite legislation like HB 450.
Below is an excerpt from the Associated Press article:
Rep. Bryan Shupe, a Milford Republican, suggested that supporters of the bill were being both disingenuous and divisive.
“I am seeing reactionary policy, … a pattern of reactionary policy, …” he said. ”I don’t think this is seriously going to address either the violence in our schools or the violence in our communities.”
Shupe noted that Republicans introduced a bill in 2018 to spend $65 million on school safety measures, such as security cameras, bullet-resistant glass and key card entry and exit devices. The bill never made it out of committee in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. Instead, the legislature approved a school safety fund that received only $10 million over two years, amounting to about $22,000 per school, Shupe said.
“Since then, no money has gone into those safety funds for our schools,” he said.
Shupe also questioned the state’s commitment to addressing gun violence, noting that Delaware’s Statistical Analysis Center, which researches and analyzes criminal justice issues, was unable to tell him how many crimes have been committed with guns in Delaware over the past five years, or how many of the guns were obtained illegally.
“How can we say that we are serious and say this bill is anything but reactionary when we don’t consistently fund, we don’t consistently create policy, or even measure gun violence in the state of Delaware?” he asked. “This is not a bill that is part of a serious plan to reduce gun violence but a reactionary policy to limit constitutional rights of the citizens of Delaware.”