On Wednesday, January 22, at 1:30 p.m., Senate Bill 23 will be heard in the Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee. Sponsored by state Senator Robert Marshall (D-3), SB 23 aims to entirely eliminate the limitations imposed upon municipalities to regulate firearms and ammunition within their jurisdictions. Recent increases in violent crime in Wilmington are alarming. The response in Wilmington is not to address the criminal element or the actual causes of the violence, but to instead attempt to strip away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners in their city. The establishment of more restrictive firearms ordinances in Wilmington will do nothing to address the growing problem of violent crime. Such ordinances will instead burden law-abiding citizens with restrictions on their ability to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense as criminals continue to ignore any gun control laws.
Further, if enacted, no uniform state laws would be in place and the result can be a complex patchwork of restrictions that change from one local jurisdiction to the next. It is unreasonable to require law-abiding citizens, whether they are residents of a given state or visitors passing through a state, to memorize a myriad of laws, especially when criminals will ignore them. Where so many local ordinances exist, citizens with no criminal intent are placed in jeopardy of running afoul of restrictions they don`t even know exist. This can affect hunters, target shooters and firearm collectors who travel through multiple jurisdictions on the way to hunting lands, shooting ranges and exhibitions.
Anti-gun proposals and restrictive ordinances at the local level threaten honest gun owners` rights and the fundamental American principle of equal protection under the law for all citizens. Local ordinances that are more restrictive than the laws of a state could violate the protections afforded by the state constitution, as well as the Second Amendment. To ensure uniform firearm laws throughout Delaware and to guarantee equal rights for all, support statewide firearms preemption and oppose SB 23.
In Delaware, a bill can be heard and passed in committee and then sent to the floor on the same day. This is why it is critical that you contact your state Senator immediately and politely urge him or her to OPPOSE Senate Bill 23.
Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.