Two women were injured in a shooting late Tuesday night in Wilmington. Both are said to be in stable condition. 6/14/17 William Bretzger & Damian Giletto/The News Journal
Police found a 24-year-old man in the 400 block of W. 29th Street. He was suffering from gunshot wounds to his lower back and buttocks areas. 6/14/17 William Bretzger & Damian Giletto/The News Journal
An off-duty police officer was found beaten inside a Pike Creek residence Sunday night. Her boyfriend was also shot in the upper body. 5/22/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
A 1-year-old child was hit by a vehicle leaving a home near Newport Friday morning that fled the scene, according to New Castle County police. 5/19/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
Wilmington police are investigating a shooting involving multiple victims that occurred Tuesday afternoon. John J. Jankowski Jr./Special to The News Journal
A 50-year-old man is in stable condition following a shooting Sunday night in Wilmington at the intersection of A and Chapel streets. 5/15/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
Daniel Santucci Jr., 23, has been arrested on charges of kidnapping a 4-your-old girl in Pike Creek’s Village of Plum Run community and sexually assaulting her. 5/8/17 Damian Giletto/The News Journal
New Castle County police were on the scene of an apparent shooting in the Pine Valley apartment complex near New Castle late Thursday night. 4/28/17 William Bretzger & Damian Giletto/The News Journal
County police tell The News Journal that A home and car were hit by gunfire Monday night near New Castle. John J. Jankowski Jr./Special to The News Journal
A 15-year-old boy was shot late Sunday night in the Edgemoor community in Fox Point. 4/17/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
A 4-year-old girl, who was abducted Thursday in Pike Creek while playing outside in the community of Village of Plum Run, was found later near Newport. 4/7/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
A police investigation is underway in Wilmington’s Bethel Villa Apartment. A victim was found suffering from apparent stab wounds to the chest. 4/7/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
A 24-year-old man was shot in the arm Monday afternoon in Wilmington. His injury is non-life-threatening. 4/4/17 John J. Jankowski Jr. & Damian Giletto
New Castle County police sent to find a Philadelphia man injured in an officer-involved shooting in that city earlier Wednesday ended up killing the man after an unspecified altercation. 3/31/17 Damian Giletto/The News Journal
A male pedestrian was struck Thursday night along Kirkwood Highway in Prices Corner in a hit-and-run crash. 3/31/17 William Bretzger & Damian Giletto/The News Journal
Some Democrats want to give judges and police the power to temporarily seize guns from people whose family believes could be a danger to themselves or others.
“The primary motivation is really to try and put a mechanism in place to diffuse potentially dangerous situations, especially in regard to suicides,” said Rep. David Bentz, D-Christiana, sponsor of House Bill 222.
OTHER NEWS: Two shot in Wilmington
But some Republicans and gun-rights advocates think the bill is a violation of Second Amendment rights.
“This would absolutely lead to some peoples’ rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution being taken away without due process,” said Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel. “Are there those who deserve to have their Second Amendment rights taken away? Absolutely. But to just whimsically do that, which I think this bill does, is not something I can support at all.”
If Bentz’s bill passes, family members or law enforcement could petition a judge to issue an “LVPO” on a person who is showing dangerous behavior. A person under one of those orders would not be allowed to buy guns or possess them.
Police would be authorized to search and seize guns from the person’s home. The person petitioning for the order must be able to describe the type of gun and where it is located.
The orders could be granted on an emergency basis, but courts would be required to hold a hearing within 10 days of such an emergency order being issued. At the hearing, the gun owner would be able to refute the petitioner’s claims that they are a risk.
Orders could last for up to a year, though they could be renewed. The person under the order could petition the court to lift it earlier.
The primary motivation behind the bill, Bentz says, is to stop suicides. Between 2011 and 2015, more than half of all suicides were committed with guns, according to stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s by far the most lethal method. It’s far more likely to be successful,” Bentz said.
Several other states have considered similar laws, with some couching them as a way to curb the soaring rates of suicide among military veterans.
Bentz said the orders are designed to be temporary.
“The whole purpose is to get them past that point of crisis so that property can be returned to them,” he said. “There’s no intent to take the weapons away permanently, we’re just hoping to get them into treatment or whatever needs to be done.”
Lawson, however, thinks the order is unnecessary and thinks it could be easily abused. He questions the ability for emergency orders that don’t have hearings and criticizes the fact that a person could lose their guns for a year or more.
“A right delayed is a right denied,” Lawson said. “And this is just another delaying tactic.”
The General Assembly has two weeks left in its session, and it is consumed with huge debates like whether to raise income taxes.
Bentz acknowledges it’s unlikely the bill will pass all the way through the General Assembly this year, though he hopes it will pass the House. This is the first year of a two-year term, so legislators will pick up the bill wherever they left it when they resume next year.
“My hope is that, when my colleagues learn more about this bill and the reasoning behind it, they will support it,” Bentz said.
Contact Matthew Albright at firstname.lastname@example.org, (302) 324-2428 or on Twitter @TNJ_malbright.