Delaware Legislature sends gun bill to Governor’s desk

The Delaware Legislature has sent a controversial gun bill to Governor John Carney’s desk that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing or owning a firearm.

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House Bill 451, introduced by House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf on June 2, will be headed to the Governor for signature along with other gun control measures that come in the wake of several mass shootings across the country. However, opponents and gun rights advocates say the bills are unconstitutional and vow a legal fight if signed into law.

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The bill was brought back to the State Senate with two amendments, one that would permit children under 18 years old to possess a firearm under direct supervision of a person 21 years or older with a 3-year sunset. The amendment would also permit a person under 21 to transport a gun for the sole purpose of hunting or recreation.

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The bill passed the Senate and was quickly passed in the House shortly after by a 24-15 vote (2 absent). It now joins other bills that would ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

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Once signed into law, the first-time penalty for an offender would receive a minimum sentence of six months incarceration, with minimum one year for second and subsequent offense.

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