Democrats in charge of the Delaware State Senate have signed off on a bill that would compel gun owners to turn their “high capacity” magazines to law enforcement in exchange for a cash stipend or else face criminal prosecution, less than a week after the bill was first introduced in the state legislature.
The magazine confiscation bill was one of two gun control measures approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate on Thursday, and with House Democrats vowing to fast track the anti-gun bills as well, the legislation could be headed to the governor’s desk as early as next week.
Senate Bill 6 defines a “high capacity” ammunition magazine as any that can hold more than 17 rounds of ammunition, and under the terms of the legislation all current owners would be required to hand over their legally-purchased magazines to police by June 30th, 2022. The bill sets aside $15,000 in funding for the compensated confiscation effort, which is almost identical to a California law that’s currently being challenged in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The other bill approved by the Senate is just as bad, quite honestly. It would create a brand new hurdle for those wanting to exercise their right to keep arms by requiring them to obtain a permit-to-purchase before they can legally acquire a handgun.
SS1 for SB 3 would require most prospective handgun purchasers to complete an approved firearm training course within five years of applying for a permit to purchase a handgun. Those permitted to carry a concealed deadly weapon by the State of Delaware would be exempted from that requirement because they are already required to complete a firearm training course.
After completing a training course, Delaware residents legally eligible to purchase a handgun would then be required to submit an application to the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS). The department would have 30 days to fingerprint applicants, confirm they are legally permitted to own a handgun, and issue a qualified purchaser card required at the point of sale.
The legislation includes no application fees and places no restrictions on the number of handguns that could be purchased during the 180 days that a qualified purchaser card is valid.
DSHS would be required to notify applicants in writing of a denial. Anyone denied a qualified purchaser card would have 30 days to request a hearing before the Justice of the Peace Court, which would be required to schedule a hearing within 15 days of receiving the request.
By requiring the permit-to-purchase, Delaware would be ultimately be imposing a waiting period of up to 30 days on the purchase of a handgun for those who don’t possess a concealed carry license, adding more red tape and bureaucracy to the exercise of a fundamental right.
The proposal would also dramatically increase the cost of purchasing a firearm, since the training requirements for a “qualified purchaser” card aren’t much different from what it takes to obtain a concealed carry license in the state, including “live fire shooting exercises” at a range, with the expenditure of at least 100 rounds of ammunition. The average concealed carry course in Delaware costs at least $100, and finding 100 rounds of ammunition is not only going to be difficult, but expensive as well for many new gun owners.
The goal here isn’t to cut down on violent crime or to go after violent criminals, but to chill the Second Amendment rights of Delaware residents and to curtail the number of new gun owners in the state. Joe Biden may not be able to ram his gun control proposals through Congress at the moment, but his anti-gun allies in his home state are doing everything they can crack down on all those wanting to exercise their right to keep and bear arms.
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