As early as next week, the Delaware Senate could vote on Senate Bill 16 and House Bill 35. Both of these bills would discriminate against gun owners by requiring fees, paperwork and delays as obstacles to exercise a civil right. Senate Bill 16 would impose punitive measures against victims of crime by requiring a gun owner to report a lost or stolen gun within arbitrary time limits. House Bill 35 would criminalize private transfers of firearms between law-abiding citizens and could only be enforced with firearm registration. Hold your state legislators accountable: Demand protection for your rights and your Senator’s opposition to ineffective measures that target law-abiding constituents instead of criminals. Please contact your state Senator today and urge him or her to oppose Senate Bill 16, House Bill 35, and any attempt to deprive law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen of their rights.
Sponsored by state Senator Margaret Rose Henry (D-2), Senate Bill 16 would require a gun owner to notify law enforcement 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. Legislation that targets innocent citizens - who are in fact victims of crimes themselves – is irresponsible. Lawmakers and law enforcement should be spending their time and resources on solutions that would help catch and prosecute criminals, not creating new ways to criminalize the victim.
House Bill 35 passed in the state House of Representatives by a 24-17 vote last month, and is currently awaiting committee assignment in the Senate. If passed in committee, HB 35 could be considered on the Senate floor next week. Sponsored by state Representative Valerie Longhurst (D-15), HB 35 would criminalize virtually all private transfers of firearms by requiring a criminal background check be performed in connection with the sale or transfer of all firearms. Background checks (subject to fees) 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. HB 35 is the first step toward the criminalization of all private firearm transfers. Gun control is not crime control.
Please contact your state Senator and urge him or her to oppose Senate Bill 16 and House Bill 35. Contact information for your state legislators can be found here.