What You Need to Know:

The following summary are bills we’ve highlighted that are specific to our focus, expertise, and interests, or made it to our watch list. To view the actual bill language or see who is sponsoring it, the bill title is linked for your convenience.  Green means we support the bill, red means we oppose it, and those with no official stance are simply in blue.

The bills are listed in numerical order. 

Bill statuses will either be listed as passed, signed, defeated, or expired. A bill that was defeated was voted down during session. A bill that expired was not voted down necessarily, but is now dead because the session is over.  it.

Gun Control

Gun control has been a hot topic in the legislature this week. The right to bear arms is secured by the U.S. Constitution’s 2nd Amendment, as well as Article I of Delaware’s Constitution. 

When tragedy happens, we need to remember this simple principle: law-abiding citizens obey laws; criminals do not. Therefore, strict gun control prevents law-abiding citizens from defending themselves and others, rather than preventing criminals from committing crimes. I wish we could end the discussion on that note, but let’s continue. 

"The Second Amendment applies to the states, thereby invalidating Chicago’s law prohibiting residents from possessing handguns."

McDonald v. City of Chicago

Bill Status: SIGNED

SB 8 would ban both machine guns and items like “glock switches,” which can convert a handgun to fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull.

Bill Status: PASSED

The enactment of certain “red flag laws” has been a common attempt for legislators at gun control. This resolution is a request for the Attorney General, Dir. of the Delaware Justice Information System, and the Sect. of Health and Social Services to produce a report for the Legislature showing them the effectiveness of red flag laws. The stated intent is to be able to refine said red flag laws in the future. 

Most red flag laws lack due process and the criteria for who may be targeted as a “red flag” can be somewhat subjective. Despite these issues, the resolution has already passed. It will be curious to see the results gathered and from what sources are used. If this is an effort that considers the liberties afforded by founding documents and ignores any sense of partisanship, it will yield trustworthy results to move forward with. But we will see …  🧐

Bill Status: EXPIRED

SB 266 would have protected some of the rights of gun owners by preventing discrimination based on gun ownership.

Bill Status: EXPIRED

HB 292 prohibits the possession and sale of all short-barrel/sawed-off shotguns.

It is important to remember that the second amendment of the Constitution says that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT be infringed.” End 👏Of👏Discussion.

Bill Status: SIGNED

SB 302 would allow gun retailers and manufactures to be held liable for a crime committed by a gun they’ve sold, even in the event of a straw purchase. 

For reference, a straw purchase is when an individual who can legally pass the required background check to purchase a gun does so and then sells that gun purposefully to someone who could not. It is the straw purchaser who should be punished for disregarding the legal process — but SB 302 targets the gun retailer/manufacturer, who did their legal duty in this scenario.

This policy is not about protecting victims of gun violence. It is vilifying the usage of guns altogether and attempting to make them obsolete — at least for the law-abiding citizen. It doesn’t prevent criminals from doing what they do … crime.

Bill Status: SIGNED

SB 6, the bill prohibiting large-capacity magazines, was signed into law with several other gun-restriction bills. SB 323, however, is a direct way to at least protect the manufacturers of large-capacity magazines that supply out of state clients. The current manufacturer in Georgetown that employs nearly 90 workers is mentioned and would be exempt from SB 6 because of SB 323. 

Bill Status: SIGNED

Click on this bill title to see the list of handguns, shotguns, and rifles being banned. HB 450 prevents the possession, sale, transfer, and manufacturing over 60 different firearms that many Delawareans currently own legally.

Rep. Smith proposed an amendment to exempt Delawareans with a license to carry; that amendment was defeated. This bill essentially overrides a license to carry!

Four Democrats in the House and one in the Senate joined all the Republicans to vote no on this unconstitutional bill. The bill passed and now awaits Governor Carney’s signature.

In conjunction with HB 450 is HB 451, which bans the purchase, selling, possession, or control of a firearm or ammunition for those 18-21 years old. Its only exemptions are for those who are in law enforcement, military personnel, or have a concealed carry license. 

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