Supporters and Opponents Clash as Delaware Considers Handgun Permit-to-Purchase Bill | Latest News

Concealed Carry

DOVER, Del.- Senate Bill 2 proposes additional steps to the process of purchasing a handgun in the state.

The proposed permit-to-purchase legislation mandates people to acquire a permit and complete firearm training before buying a handgun.

Although a similar bill failed to reach the governor’s desk in 2021, the bill’s sponsors are renewing their push. 

Senate Majority Whip and sponsor, Elizabeth Lockman (D-Wilmington), stated that adjustments have been made to ensure equitable accessibility. “For folks who fall under 200 percent of the poverty level, there is going to be a voucher in place to cover the cost of training,” said Sen. Lockman.

Those with concealed carry permits would be exempt from the regulations. While partial exemptions are in place for former and current law enforcement. 

However, Delaware Gun Rights President, Mitch Denham, doubts this bill will address the root causes of gun violence, citing a recent incident in Northern Delaware.

“The 17-year-old that was in the Christiana Mall shooting, he cannot get a gun legally. He just can’t. He’s 17. So where did that gun come from? Those are the questions that aren’t getting answered and aren’t going to be resolved by this,” said Denham.

Delaware’s Coalition Against Gun Violence believes the motives of Second Amendment activists and the General Assembly are vastly different.

“If our bills pass, we don’t make more money, but if our bills fail, the National Rifle Association (NRA) does,” said director Traci Murphy.

Murphy noted that opposition is inevitable.

“We hear all the time from the opposition that guns don’t fire themselves and ‘this is not a gun problem, it’s a people problem.’ Well, this legislation doesn’t approach anything involving guns, but they are still going to oppose it,” she said. 

Despite the expected opposition, Murphy and Sen. Lockman say they feel confident the bill will make it to Gov. Carney’s desk this year.

SB 2 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 26.

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