Governor John Carney has unveiled his legislative package to further violate Second Amendment rights in Delaware. The General Assembly returns from recess next week, and session adjourns on June 30th, so they will attempt to rush these bills through the legislative process. In addition to the bills below, there are other proposals that have not yet had bill drafts published. Please contact your lawmakers and ask them to OPPOSE these bills.
House Bill 450 imposes a Maryland-style ban on many commonly-owned rifles, shotguns, and handguns that law-abiding citizens use for self-defense and sport. Citizens who own such firearms prior to the ban may continue to possess them, but the burden is on them to prove that they owned them prior. The state will provide the option for owners to apply for certification that banned firearms were owned prior. Banned firearms may only be transferred to direct family members or bequeathed to heirs. They also may only be possessed at, or transported to and from, certain locations, such the owner’s residence, shooting ranges, private property with the property owner’s permission, or licensed firearm dealers.
Senate Bill 6, the so-called “Delaware Large Capacity Magazine Prohibition Act,” bans possessing magazines with a capacity greater than seventeen rounds of ammunition, including those that may “readily be converted” over that capacity and those with a “removable floor plate or end plate, if the device can readily be extended to accept more than 17 rounds of ammunition.” This vague and broad definition could be interpreted to ban the magazines for most modern handguns and rifles in common use. Such arbitrary limits are not grounded in public safety and, instead, restrict law-abiding citizens who use these magazines for various purposes, such as self-defense and competition.
House Bill 451 discriminates against young adults aged 18-20 by prohibiting them from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling any firearm or ammunition other than shotguns and shotgun ammunition, unless they have a Concealed Deadly Weapon Permit. This violates the Second Amendment rights of those who are legally adults and are deemed old enough to vote, serve on a jury, enter into binding contracts, get married, and enlist in the military, unless they first pay fees to the government and go through red tape to get their rights back.
House Bill 423 has the State Bureau of Identification create the Firearm Transaction Approval Program (FTAP) to act as a point of contact to conduct background checks on firearm transfers for licensed firearm dealers rather than allowing the dealers to conduct federal NICS background checks themselves directly with the FBI.
In addition, it allows for up to a 25 day delay for firearm transfers if the FTAP check is not completed during that time. That is up from the current three day delay minimum under federal law with the NICS system, which was already considered appropriate to the technology level over two decades ago when NICS was first implemented for instant, computerized background checks. This can allow inefficiencies in the state system or failures by bureaucrats to unreasonably delay Second Amendment rights.
Again, please contact your lawmakers and ask them to oppose these bills.