Delaware General Assembly Vote Tracker

Bruce Ennis Weakens Bump Stock Ban

The weakening?  The Senate passed an amendment that lessened the penalty that a first offense charge of possessing such an evil device would bring.  Instead of being a felony, the amendment makes the first offense a misdemeanor.    I am curious, and every Democratic Senator needs to explain this to me: Was this amendment necessary to passage of the bill?

The bill passed 18-1, with two absent (Bryant Richardson and Brian Bushweller) and one voting with the terrorists: Republican Dave Lawson.  Now, Democrats control the Senate 11-10.   But last night, with those two absences, that breakdown is 10-9.  Could the bill have passed 10-9 without the amendment?   Or do we need a majority of all members absent or not to pass a bill?  Did we need 11 votes?   If so, then we needed Republican votes.  So was this amendment necessary to deliver Cathy Cloutier and Greg Lavelle?  Or were there conservative Democrats who would not have voted for this bill without this amendment?  What say you NRA-lover Bruce Ennis?   It was his amendment.  Would he have voted no on the bill and thus become one with the terrorist NRA if his weakening amendment had not been passed?

HB300 – BANNING BUMP STOCKS.
SPONSORS: Longhurst, McDowell, Townsend, Heffernan, Baumbach, Potter, Cloutier, Henry, Lavelle, Sokola, Bentz, Jaques, Keeley, Kowalko, Matthews, Mitchell, Osienski, Schwartzkopf

YES VOTES: B. Short, Baumbach, Bennett, Bentz, Bolden, Brady, Heffernan, Hensley, Hudson, J.Johnson, Jaques, K.Williams, Keeley, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Matthews, Mitchell, Osienski, Paradee, Potter, Q.Johnson, Ramone, Schwartzkopf, Viola, Bonini, Cloutier, Delcollo, Ennis, Hansen, Henry, Hocker, Lavelle, Lopez, Marshall, McBride, McDowell, Pettyjohn, Poore, Simpson, Sokola, Townsend, Walsh
NO VOTES: Carson, Mulrooney, Smyk, Lawson
ABSENT: Smith, Miro, Richardson, Bushweller
NOT VOTING: Briggs King, Collins, D.Short, Dukes, Gray, Kenton, Outten, Postles, Spiegelman, Wilson, Yearick
HISTORY: Passed House 25-3-11.  Passed the Senate 18-1-3
STATUS: Back to the House where the cowardly nonvoting Republicans get a second chance.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst objected to the amendment and had some correct charges for the Senate.  “Today, we let [the protesting students] all down. We need to do what’s best for public safety, not what is politically expedient. Here’s the bottom line: bump stocks are dangerous and deadly. They are not toys, and this is not a game,” Rep. Longhurst, the sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.  “They are destructive weapons like bombs, bombshells, firearm silencers, sawed-off shotguns and machine guns. They have no practical purpose in hunting, home defense or sport. As we saw tragically in the Las Vegas massacre, they only serve to fire hundreds of bullets as rapidly as possible.

“In every other state that has passed or is considering similar bills, possession of a bump stock is a felony. These are devices that make destructive weapons even deadlier.”

Ennis says he made the bill better and fairer, even though there is already a grace period of 120 days during which current possessors of the terrorist device have time to turn them in without prosecution.   I wonder why, after that, Bruce Ennis feels it necessary to protect criminals.

Either way, Bruce Ennis needs to consider retirement.  Immediate retirement, not just at his next election.  He is out of his time now.  The world, the nation, and his party have left him behind.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

29 comments on “Bruce Ennis Weakens Bump Stock Ban

  1. I’ll be on the phone with Ennis despite his best efforts, will struggle to contain myself. This is not only insanity it’s betrayal, betrayal of the kids and all the Americans slain with the aid of this device. Am I mad? Oh Hell Yeah!

    • elizabeth allen

      Citizens living in Sussex County are the most right wing dead heads in this State. These so called democrats like Ennis have no guts or moral courage. There is no media challenge to these legislators in Sussex. WDEL has turned the airwaves over to 3 ALT right talking heads, with few if any challengers calling in to dispute them. Blame it on those who know better but wont challenge the nuts on WDEL.

      • Joe Connor

        Ennis is from Southern New Castle/northern Kent. Don’t let that fact get in the was of an excuse to insult folks. This is about an important issue. Your attacks help nothing.

        • elizabeth allen

          He could have had some moral courage and stood up to the NRA, he didnt.. I agree with wikwox. Of course he is no different from Briggs King, and the other repubs and/democrats who live in Sussex. Wishing Common Cause did another survey on politicans and where they get their campaign funds.

        • elizabeth allen

          He could have had some moral courage, but he didn’t just like the other repubs in Sussex regardless of party. They play to the tune of their campaign contributors.

  2. Mitch Crane

    11 “Yes” votes are required to pass a matter in the Senate; 21 in the House. It is not a majority of those voting, but a majority of t he body. A vote of 10-9 for a bill would have been a defeat for it. That is one important reason why those :”not voting” should be treated the same as those voting “No”.

    • Delaware Dem

      Thanks. I was not sure about that. And yes, I do consider NV as NO, with the extra cherry on top of being a coward.

  3. Owning, or wanting to own, bump stocks immediately disqualifies you as a responsible gun owner. (Just like a teacher who wants to have a gun in their classroom is disqualifying)

    Banning bump stocks should be a no-brainer, and yet it’s not.

    These politicians need to start paying attention. The kids are coming. They are the revolution we’ve been talking about.

  4. I see Ennis as the epitome of the hated “Delaware Way”, he’s a Republican disguised as a Democrat and it’s a thin disguise at best. Pass or not pass, vote or not vote we’ve failed yet again in this tiny state to do what’s right and what is needed.

  5. No more voting retired cops into the General Assembly.

  6. Jack Polidori

    The vilification of Sen. Bruce Ennis is unwarranted and overdone. His district is a conservative one and he represents it well … a socially conservative Democrat who also is a populist on economic issues that affect working Delawareans. Reminds me, in fact, of the bright young Democrat, Conor Lamb, who just won the Congressional special election in a comparably conservative district in southwestern Pennsylvania. All one has to do is consider the electoral defeat of former Sen. Nancy Cook (a Democrat) — by gun store owner and now Sen. Dave Lawson — if you want to gauge the voters’ opinions of an immediately adjacent senate district and use that to understand Sen. Ennis’ district.
    Fact of the matter is that the State Senate has evolved from a slight majority that consistently supported gun violence prevention bills in 2013 to the present one where a working majority in favor of such legislation must be ‘built’ to ensure passage of such bills. The current post-Parkland environment is the time to do it. One would have hoped that the Governor’s office would have figured this calculus out as it introduced and now continues to advocate for a six-pack of excellent bills pertaining to gun violence prevention.
    It would behoove all supporters of such legislation to understand that pressure must be brought big-time on three Republican State Senators to support such legislation — Sen. Greg Lavalle, Sen. Cathy Cloutier, and Sen. Ernie Lopez — three senators whose districts support such legislation … in stark comparison to the voters of Sen. Ennis’ rural, southern Delaware district.
    This is a cross-party issue … Republicans and Democrats alike who are not voting in accordance with the dominant opinion of their districts on the matter of gun violence prevention policy should be held to account by constituents.

  7. They need to word the law correctly or they will be coming back to change it. The law should actually include “bump firing” because there are several ways to modify and use the recoil to increase the rate of fire using a combination of grip, and readily available materials.

    • Exibit A: VIEWER DISCRETION! (For educational purposes only)

      • George Higgins

        This video illustrates how easily a rate-of-fire exceeding that of the already heavily regulated Thompson Machine Gun can be achieved by what the gun lobby likes to call a Modern Sporting Rifle. “Modern sporting rifle” indeed! The killing of human beings is the “modern sport” for which these weapons are designed. Take the coaching, regulate AR- and AK- style carnage rifles now.

        • no point in trying to explain.
          rse thinks that because people still die, there is not point in reducing the number of people murdered by ammosexuals.

        • I agree, but a standard semi automatic hunting rifle is basically the same thing without the fancy plastic grips and stuff. It’s the magazine capacity that makes the difference. Legislators should be able to compromise on magazine capacity.

          • George Higgins

            Comparing with the heavily regulated Thompson Machine gun, it’s the rate-of-fire we’re discussing, not the magazine capacity. High capacity magazines are a separate issue. The value of a semi automatic hunting rifle for traditional game hunting is retaining line of sight which is disrupted when operating a bolt or lever. Rapid fire is not the advantage when hunting traditional game. Not to an experienced shooter anyway.

            • I disagree. Seeing that you can theoretically “bump fire” any semi automatic rifle. I think that it is very much about magazine capacity.

      • elizabeth allen

        I see very clearly those supporting weapons of mass destruction, just LOVE to talk about these weapons…they know more about these weapons than any other issue…see a problem. I see no women in love with guns on this site.

        • Who are you addressing? What are you saying exactly? What do you base your comment on?What does being a woman have to do with it? Are you saying there should be no practical discussion on gun control?… Are you like those three little monkeys, you know the ones…”see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”?

          • elizabeth allen

            i base my opinion on what I hear from callers on talk shows, the internet responses to this issue plus other. I am saying “a majority of women” are absolutely opposed and do not support” the use of weapons of mass destruction in the public domain. I happen to be the daughter of a gunowner, and in fact have one myself…but I would never think of carrying it in the streets, or supporting bumpstocks, AK, or AR’s etc. Clear enough.

            • Actually, no. I think everyone who has participated in this thread, male or female, believes that “bump stocks” should be banned, and I was just making the point that the wording should include “bump firing”. Excuse me if I am familiar with the most rudimentary aspects of a subject…..and being a male human at the same time.

              • elizabeth allen

                Not speaking to those on this thread, but generally speaking. I would’nt know a bumpstock or any of the rudimentary dealings of weapons of mass destruction. I believe all weapons other than hunting rifles and pistolas should be banned. We live in a violent country has been since the first folk arrived. We need to go the way of other developed nations ie. Austrailia..

    • “exhibit”

  8. One final note here, I live in Ennis’s district and am well aware the backroads here are loaded with far right geezers and haters of all sorts. Regardless there was no need to do what he did, it was uncalled for and ill advised. Rather than making progress we kowtowed to the NRA, and made ourselves look foolish and weak in the bargain.

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