Opposing Rallies Expected In Dover Today As Gun Legislation Is Introduced

Several groups will hold rallies in Dover today as new gun legislation is expected to be introduced.

The groups are expected to draw attention to legislation that would ban some firearms and ammunition clips, require a citizen to get permission from the state to buy a gun and alter the safe storage of a firearm law.

HB 63 (Safe Storage Law) “This Act revises the crime of “unlawfully permitting a child access to a firearm,” an existing class A misdemeanor under Delaware law. The offense is renamed “unsafe storage of a firearm” to place emphasis on firearm safety and proper storage. Under the revised statute, a crime is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly stores or leaves a loaded firearm where a minor or other person prohibited by law, or “unauthorized person,” can access the firearm, and the unauthorized person obtains the firearm. The unauthorized person’s use of the firearm to inflict serious physical injury or death is not an element of the offense, but is an aggravating factor. For the purposes of this offense, “stores and leaves” does not include when firearm is carried by or under the control of the owner or another lawfully-authorized user. Under this Act, the offense is a class B misdemeanor if there are no aggravating circumstances. If, however, the unauthorized person uses the firearm to commit a crime, uses the firearm to inflict serious physical injury or death upon anyone, or transfers the firearm to another unauthorized person, the offense is a class A misdemeanor. It is an affirmative defense that the person stored the firearm in a locked container, disabled it with a tamper-resistant trigger lock, or stored it in a location a reasonable person would have thought was safe from access by unauthorized persons. This Act provides an exception for firearms manufactured in or before 1899, or a replica to such firearms, if the replica is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition. This Act also makes technical changes to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.”

Critics of HB63 say the adding of the phrase “unauthorized person” to the already existing law that protects underage children from accessing guns puts an undue burden on responsible gun owners. They fear that gun owners could be charged with a crime if their weapon is stolen.

The Delaware Gun Rights Association and other pro-second amendment groups will be holding a rally at Legislative Hall in Dover today, April 10th at 12 noon, to oppose the new legislation.

The group is expecting additional legislation to be introduced that would ban some types of firearms and ammunition clips. Democrats also are expected to introduce a bill that would require a citizen to obtain a permit to purchase a firearm in Delaware.

Moms Demand Action, the Michael Bloomberg supported which advocates for gun control, will also be in Dover to rally in favor of the proposed legislation.

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