Several Groups File Lawsuit Over New Gun Legislation

The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association has released a statement regarding the lawsuit they filed against John Carny over new gun legislation he signed recently

On June 30, 2022, Governor John Carney signed House Bill 450 into law, effectively and immediately banning a long list of commonly owned rifles, shotguns and pistols, pejoratively and inaccurately labeling those firearms as “assault weapons.”

The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association strongly opposed House Bill 450 in both the House and Senate, warning both the Governor and the General Assembly that the bill violated numerous provisions of both the United States and Delaware constitutions and promising to challenge HB 450 in the courts if it ever became law. Today DSSA fulfilled that promise.

Today the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. DSSA was joined in this action by the Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club, The Delaware Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, the Delaware Rifle and Pistol Club and several individual members of those organizations.

Specifically the suit calls for HB 450 to be declared violative of not only the individual citizen’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by both the Delaware and United States constitutions, but numerous other constitutional provisions as well, including the Commerce Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause and the “takings” clauses of both the Delaware and United States Constitutions.

DSSA President Jeff Hague said of this action, “DSSA has been protecting and defending the rights of Delaware’s hunters, sportsmen and women, and law-abiding gun owners since 1968.
This is not the first time we have challenged unconstitutional and illegal actions of government officials in court, and it will not be the last. We promised our members and the people of Delaware that if HB 450 ever became law we would challenge that law and today we kept that promise.”

At the same time Governor Carney signed HB 450 into law he also signed into law Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 451 into law. SS#1 for SB 6 bans the private ownership of standard capacity magazines except for certain privileged individuals and HB 451 bans the possession and ownership of rifles and handguns by adults 18, 19 and 20 years of age who had not reached their 18th birthday on June 30, 2022. DSSA has promised to challenge those measures in court as well. When asked about those two bills Mr. Hague stated “We kept our promise on HB 450, we will keep our promise on those bills as well. We are both duty and honor bound to protect the constitutional rights of our members and the people of Delaware, and we shall do so.”

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