House passes ban on assault-style firearms | Cape Gazette

2022-06-15 13:03:25 By : Ms. Emma Cheng

A bill to ban the possession and purchase of assault-style firearms passed the House June 9 by a 22-19 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

House Bill 450 would prohibit the manufacture, sale, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession or transport of assault-style weapons in Delaware. The prohibition would include popular firearms such as AK-47s, AR-15s, Uzis and specific assault long guns and pistols as spelled out in the bill, as well as copycat firearms. Copycats include a semiautomatic centerfire rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun that has a folding stock, or a shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

The legislation would grandfather existing weapons and protect their owners from being misidentified as lawbreakers while placing restrictions on the transportation and use of those weapons.

The bill, known as the Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022, would not prohibit the possession and transport of firearms that were lawfully possessed or fully applied for before the bill becomes law, with certain restrictions. There would be exceptions for law enforcement and military personnel in the course of their official duties, and a limited exception for retired law enforcement personnel. A person lawfully in possession of an assault weapon prior to the passage of HB 450 could lawfully transfer the weapon to their immediate family member, through inheritance or otherwise.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security would be required to develop a procedure for issuance of a voluntary certificate of possession to show lawful possession of an assault weapon prior to the bill becoming law. A gun owner would not be required to apply for the certificate. The department would not be permitted to retain copies of issued certificates or identifying information of any applicant.

The bill will be heard Wednesday, June 15, in the Senate Executive Committee hearing.

Also on the committee agenda are a bill to outlaw devices that turn a semiautomatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon, and a bill that would hold gun dealers and gunmakers liable for victims of gun violence.

Senate Bill 8 would outlaw the possession, sale and use of auto sears, “glock switches” and other devices that can convert semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic machine guns capable of firing up to 1,200 rounds per minute. Senate Bill 302 would amend the existing liability shield that protects gunmakers and gun dealers from civil action in the First State, even when their conduct knowingly or recklessly endangers the safety and health of Delawareans. 

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.