On Wednesday, two more pieces of Governor Jack Markell’s comprehensive gun control scheme were introduced in the General Assembly. House Bill 58 is a ban on magazines having the capacity to accept more than ten rounds, while Senate Bill 16 would require any gun owner to notify police within 48 hours if a firearm was lost or stolen. HB 58 has been assigned to the House Administration Committee, but at this time no hearing has been scheduled. SB 16 will be heard on Wednesday, March 27 at 1:00 PM in the Senate Hearing Room by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is very important that you show up to testify against this bill on Wednesday and contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to SB 16. Your action makes the difference!
House Bill 58 would prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer or delivery of magazines with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds. Such possession would be unlawful if it occurs in a public place while in possession of a firearm capable of accepting it. HB 58 carries a penalty of a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class G felony for any subsequent offense. Please contact members of the House Administration Committee and urge them to vote against HB 58 to criminalize legally and commonly possessed magazines. Ask them to stop the attack on law abiding gun owners.
Senate Bill 16 would require any gun owner to notify police within 48 hours if a firearm was lost or stolen. SB 16 does nothing to solve an existing crime problem but is an ideological attack on gun ownership. It institutes policies to criminalize victims of crime and subjects anyone who does not follow these arbitrary laws to heavy fines or felony charges that would take away their right to possess a firearm legally. In no way could legislation that targets innocent citizens be seen as a “reform” and there is nothing “common sense” about the effects such a far-reaching bill will have.
The NRA is firmly opposed to legislation that makes it a crime for gun owners to fail to report a firearm lost or stolen within an arbitrarily imposed time limit. Persons who are not only innocent of wrongdoing, but who are in fact victims of crimes themselves, ought not to be required to complete an inventory of personal assets during a potentially very sensitive time in their lives, or face criminal prosecution. It is not unreasonable to have scenarios in which a crime victim could be facing significant personal losses beyond the property crime described in the legislation; such as injury to themselves or a family member. To require victims to take time during the initial 48 hours after such an event to search personal records and the scene of the crime in order to present such an inventory to law enforcement lest they be punished with steep penalties is wrong and unfair. This legislation and all forms similar turn a victim into a criminal and are a blatant attack on an entire group of people who are acting legally and within their rights.
This legislation as written will not address the problem of "straw purchasers" providing firearms to prohibited persons, and then later claiming to have lost or had stolen the firearm in question. Such persons have already committed federal felonies by acting as a straw purchaser, and should be prosecuted accordingly.
Please contact members of the House Administration Committee (click here) and respectfully request they oppose HB 58. Please also contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (click here) and urge them to oppose these attacks on lawful gun owners! Remember: Your presence is needed in Dover next Wednesday to speak against SB 16!
Contact information for your state legislators can be found by clicking here.