Update: Senate to vote on HB 35 today

Capt. Kelly testifies in favor of background-check bill
Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, speaks at Legislative Hall before testifying at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in favor of legislation requiring background checks for the private sale of guns. BY KARA NUZBACK
April 18, 2013

Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, spoke in Dover April 17 before testifying at a Senate judiciary committee hearing on House Bill 35, a measure that would require background checks for the purchase of firearms.

Giffords survived injuries she suffered in a 2011 Tuscon shooting that left 6 people dead.

The bill was released from the Senate committee in a vote of 4-1 after about two hours of public testimony.  The majority of those who testified were opposed to the bill.

Shortly before the hearing, Delaware 9-12 Patriots rallied against the measure outside Legislative Hall.

9-12 Patriots Executive Director Theresa Garcia presented lawmakers with a petition signed by 3,450 opponents of the measure.

HB 35 would make background checks mandatory for private sales or transfers of firearms, excluding sales between immediate family members and law enforcement officers. Gun dealers would be required to make the background checks.

Background checks are already required when a licensed dealer sells a gun and when a private party asks a dealer to perform a background check.

House Representatives passed the bill March 28.  Is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate today.