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ILA | Delaware: Gun & Mag Bans Going to Gov. Carney

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Last night, the House passed Senate Bill 6, to ban many standard capacity magazines in common use, sending it to Governor John Carney’s desk. The Senate passed House Bill 450, to ban many commonly-owned firearms, and House Bill 423, sending those to Gov. Carney’s desk as well. The Senate also passed Senate Bill 8 and Senate Bill 302, which now go to the House for further consideration. Please contact Gov. Carney and ask him to VETO SB 6, HB 450, and HB 423 and also contact your state representative and ask them to OPPOSE SB 8 and SB 302.

Senate Bill 6 Senate Substitution 1, 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, with an exemption for Concealed Deadly Weapon Permit holders. 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 450 House Amendment 1 imposes a ban on many commonly-owned rifles, shotguns, and handguns that law-abiding citizens use for self-defense and sport. The firearms banned are those from Maryland’s enumerated model list, as well as any other firearm with an arbitrary physical feature on Connecticut’s criteria list.

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.

House Bill 423 House Amendment 1 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. This can allow inefficiencies in the state system or failures by bureaucrats to unreasonably delay Second Amendment rights.

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Senate Bill 8 amends Delaware’s machine gun ban to ban machine gun conversion parts that are already banned under federal law without the proper ATF registration, taxes, and/or licensing.

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.

Again, please contact Gov. Carney and ask him to VETO SB 6, HB 450, and HB 423 and also contact your state representative and ask them to OPPOSE SB 8 and SB 302.




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