Governor John Carney was joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Ashley Biden, Representative David Bentz, and others at the Biden Institute Monday as he signed gun violence prevention legislation named after the late Attorney General Beau Biden.
“Today fulfills a promise our son, Beau, made to the people of this great state, that he wasn’t going to give up on common sense gun violence prevention,” said former Vice President Joe Biden. “It’s something he worked for his whole professional career.”
Beau Biden, the vice president's son, was a strong advocate for gun violence prevention during his time as Delaware's Attorney General.
“Everybody in our state supports this bill,” said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis. “So it’s fitting we have this signing at the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.”
Bentz said many people had been working to see the fulfillment of this legislation.
“I know the governor put the full force of his office behind this,” said. Rep David Bentz, introduced by Assanis as the primary sponsor of the bill. “We had everyone working together hard on this one.”
The legislation faltered the first time around. According to Bentz, discussions with legislative leaders and Governor Carney last fall indicated that the time was right to try again.
"The idea was familiar to people. We were going to push it hard and get this thing done this time," Bentz said.
House Bill 302 received final legislative approval last week.
The governor said this was an accomplishment that put Delaware's bipartisanship and familial identity on display.
“We are special," Carney said. "[Today] is a testament to what makes Delaware special."
Beau Biden's sister recalled when her brother started this journey for greater gun violence protections in Delaware more than five years ago.
“I remember when [Beau] introduced this legislation in 2013, with support of Sen. [Michael] Barbieri,” said Ashley Biden. “I remember how important this legislation was to him then. Beau was committed to keeping our community safe.”
Disagreeing is difficult, but working through disagreements to the successes of real, tangible change, is important, because doing nothing is dangerous.
"There is room to talk with people with whom you may have profound differences," former VP Biden said. "It matters that we engage one other. And that’s what we did, and it’s paid off… Beau is, in many ways still alive; still with the family; still with us."