In his weekly message, Governor Markell discusses statewide efforts to address gun violence, including the formation of a new Gun Investigation Unit at the Delaware State Police.
Our efforts to encourage economic development and strengthen our state’s quality of life can only succeed when our streets are safe. The wave of shootings we have seen Wilmington is heartbreaking and unacceptable. I’m committed to partnering with Mayor Williams and leaders of all of our cities and towns to stop gun crime. We’ve made progress by working to steer our most at-risk citizens away from criminal activity, but we have much more to do. Far too often, gun violence is committed by shooters prohibited from owning guns. It’s critical that we more effectively trace the sources of these weapons and punish those involved in illegal sales. To support our law enforcement officers in this effort, we’ve partnered with Wilmington and New Castle County to establish a new State Police task force. That team is dedicated to in-depth reviews of firearms transactions as well as developing a statewide strategy to better enforce our gun purchasing laws. Better firearm investigations are only one part of what it takes to make our neighborhoods safer. That’s why we’re reforming our criminal justice system to reduce recidivism by giving ex-offenders a better chance to productively contribute to their communities after they’ve served their time. And it’s why we have committed to after-school and summer programs that provide a safe haven for youth while offering recreational opportunities as well as anti-bullying and anti-violence activities. When people don’t feel safe in their communities, little else matters. By improving our ability to stop illegal gun trafficking while providing disadvantaged youth and ex-offenders a better path to fulfilling lives, we’ll address violence in Wilmington and throughout our state. And we’ll keep Delaware moving forward.
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