Delaware: General Assembly Passes Bills for Age Discrimination & Lawsuits Against Firearm Industry

Gun Rights

Yesterday, the House voted 23-18 to pass Senate Bill 302 and the Senate voted 14-7 to pass House Bill 451. HB 451 then went back to the House, which voted 25-15 to concur. These two anti-gun bills now go to Governor John Carney’s desk, where they join three other anti-gun bills. Gov. Carney has announced that he intends to sign all of these tomorrow. Please contact Gov. Carney and ask that he VETO all gun control bills before him.  


Senate Bill 302 allows lawsuits against firearm industry members for failure to implement “reasonable” controls to prevent straw purchases or theft. This intentionally vague term can subject the industry to crippling lawsuits regardless of whether there is any actual violation of law. Plaintiffs are not required to prove that any such action was done with any intent to cause harm.

The firearm industry is already highly regulated through federal and state laws, with violations carrying stiff penalties. This is the latest salvo in gun control advocates’ long-running effort to circumvent the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which ensures Americans have reasonable access to firearms. The PLCAA does not prohibit lawsuits against the firearm industry for knowingly unlawful sales, for negligent entrustment, and on traditional products liability grounds.

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House Bill 451, as amended, discriminates against 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 or fall under other exemptions. It also allows adults aged 18-20 to continue to possess and control, but not purchase, firearms and ammunition they otherwise cannot, with that exemption expiring in three years.

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.

Again, please contact Gov. Carney and ask that he VETO all gun control bills before him.


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