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Delaware Update: Hearing Time Rescheduled for Bill to Criminalize Private Sales

Monday, March 11, 2013

Your Action Needed NOW!

In January, Governor Jack Markell (D) unleashed a five-point plan to subject Delaware to sweeping gun control measures, as reported by NRA-ILA.  Last week, the latest of his measures was filed as House Bill 35.  HB 35 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee that scheduled a hearing for it this Wednesday, March 13 at 12:30 pm in the House Majority Hearing Room in Legislative Hall and public comment will be accepted.  Please call House Judiciary Committee Chairman – Rep. Rebecca Walker and urge her to reschedule this hearing on House Bill 35 for 7:00 pm, so that working Delawareans can attend to testify and voice opposition to such harmful legislation to gun owners’ rights.  Please also contact members of the House Judiciary Committee IMMEDIATELY and go to Dover this Wednesday to testify against HB 35.

HB 35 would criminalize private transfers of firearms by requiring that a criminal history background check be performed in connection with the sale or transfer of all firearms.  Background checks would be performed by licensed firearms dealers, who would be required to maintain records of such background checks in accordance with state and federal law.

Background checks would not be required in private party transactions (1) in which the buyer or transferee is a member of the seller or transferor’s immediate family (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling or spouse); (2) involving antique firearms and certain replicas; (3) involving the return by a licensed pawnbroker of a firearm to the person from whom it was received; or (4) involving qualified active duty and retired law-enforcement officers.  Anyone violating this provision would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class G felony for any subsequent offense.  Concealed carry license holders would NOT be exempted.

While there might be exceptions -- make no mistake -- this measure is the first step toward the criminalization of all private firearm transfers.  This system can only be enforced with gun registration.  And, as we know from experiences in California, Australia and Great Britain, gun registration enables gun confiscation—only from honest citizens—since criminals are not subject to registration nor do they submit to criminal investigations.

Please call House Judiciary Committee Chairman – Rep. Rebecca Walker and urge her to reschedule the hearing on House Bill 35 for 7:00 pm, so that working Delawareans can attend to testify and voice opposition to such harmful legislation to gun owners’ rights.  It is also important that you ask that committee hearings on all of Governor Markell’s anti-gun bills be scheduled in the evening since holding these hearings in the middle of the day bars working Delawareans from attending and effectively silences their voices.  Your presence is needed in Dover on Wednesday to testify against these ineffective measures!

According to an internal U.S. Department of Justice memorandum, "universal" background checks will not work without requiring gun registration.  Read the memo and get the facts here.

It is critical that you contact House Judiciary Committee members IMMEDIATELY and urge them to OPPOSE HB 35.


House Judiciary Committee:

Representative Rebecca Walker (D-9) (Chairman)

(302) 744-4351


Representative Melanie George Smith (D-5) (Vice-Chairman)

(302) 744-4126


Representative Gerald L. Brady (D-4)

(302) 744-4351


Representative James Johnson (D-16)

(302) 744-4351


Representative John L. Mitchell Jr. (D-13)

(302) 744-4351


Representative W. Charles Paradee (D-29)

(302) 744-4033


Representative Charles Potter Jr. (D-1)

(302) 744-4351


Representative Darryl M. Scott (D-31)

(302) 744-4351


Representative Stephen T. Smyk (R-20)

(302) 744-4321


Representative Jeffrey N. Spiegelman (R-11)

(302) 744-4171


Representative David L. Wilson (R-35)

(302) 744-4150



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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.