Delaware Passes Ridiculous Gun Control Law and Immediately Gets Sued

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

Delaware has passed a gun control law that would require residents to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun. The move was met with lawsuits filed by gun rights groups arguing that it is unconstitutional.


Proponents of the measure claim that it will reduce gun violence and suicides while also addressing “straw purchases.” Democrat Governor John Carney lauded the measure, arguing that “signing this piece of legislation is another important step forward to help keep our communities safe”:

Backers of the plan argue that it would reduce gun violence, suicides and homicides and crack down on illegal "straw purchases" of handguns on behalf of those prohibited by law from possessing them.

Shortly after Carney signed the legislation, a coalition of Second Amendment groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of five plaintiffs challenging the new law's constitutionality.

The lawsuit, backed by the Delaware State Sportsmen's Association Inc. and Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club, argues that the fundamental civil rights of lawful gun owners in the First State are "being trampled on by overbearing legislation that defies controlling legal authority."

Brady United Against Gun Violence, an anti-gunner organization, also praised the bill, claiming that it will somehow “increase the efficacy” of federal background checks. Kris Brown, president of the organization, said the programs “are proven to reduce firearm homicide rates, prevent firearms trafficking, ad put space and time between individuals considering self-harm and firearms.”


On the other side of the debate, the National Rifle Association (NRA) criticized the bill, saying that creating a handgun transfer registry would create a “perpetual cycle of costs and delays” to purchase firearms.

The key provisions of the bill would require individuals to obtain a Handgun Qualified Purchaser Permit (HQPP) in order to purchase handguns. There are exemptions for law enforcement officers and those who possess a concealed carry license.

It would also create a process one must go through to obtain the HQPP. It involves providing detailed personal information and affirming under oath that they are not prohibited from owning a gun.

In order to obtain the HQPP, applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have completed a firearms training course within the past five years. The course has to cover a variety of topics related to gun ownership, including safe handling, storage, and shooting fundamentals. It also must include knowledge of laws and conflict resolution. After one obtains an HQPP, it is valid for two years and can be revoked if the holder is disqualified.

The law is being rightly challenged by gun rights groups. It is a clear violation of the Second Amendment that will do nothing to save lives from gun violence. It imposes unnecessary and ineffective burdens on those seeking to keep and bear arms. This measure is more of a method of discouraging people from purchasing firearms than a way to keep people safe.


Moreover, as with the majority of gun laws, this one will not deter gun violence. Not a single murderous criminal will seek to get a permit so they can buy a handgun with which to commit murder. This will only make those who obey the law more vulnerable.

Delaware’s new gun control law is just like most others: An ineffective violation of the Second Amendment. Fortunately, the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling might ensure that it doesn’t last long enough to do too much damage.


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