The Senate of Delaware has passed a piece of legislation that bans “high capacity” magazines this past week. This decision forces residents to sell such devices to law enforcement agencies or be prosecuted.
Along with this magazine legislation, another gun control bill passed that requires a license to purchase a handgun. Both of these were pushed through without Republican support through the Democrat-controlled chamber this past Thursday. The two bills are set to now move to the democrat-controlled House and if they pass through there, straight to Governor John Carney’s desk.
Democratic leaders in the Senate, this past week, put forward the idea that they planned to force the legislation through, regardless of GOP support if necessary, for the sake of public safety.
“The urgency for public safety laws that will protect Delawareans from the threat of gun violence gripping our communities must be carefully balanced with our duty to provide fair public notice of measures being considered by our chamber,” Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola and Majority Whip Elizabeth Lockman stated in a release.
“These policies are not new and, put simply, Delawareans have waited too long for us to act on them,” Lockman and Sokola stated while noting that all previous attempts to force such measures have failed. “Too many lives are at risk to justify any further delay in their consideration before the full Senate.”
Senate Bill 6 looks to ban “high capacity” magazines for citizens. It classifies this as any magazine that holds more than 17 total rounds of ammunition. It also creates a $15,000 fund with which to purchase these “high capacity” magazines from citizens. The owners must reach out to law enforcement to sell their magazines or they run the risk of criminal prosecution for owning the items.
The thought process of this legislature from Democrats is that it would cut down on the severity of any potential future mass shootings. Critics of the bill stated that the law would only prevent law-abiding gun owners from purchasing the magazines while criminals will just buy theirs illegally. Republican State Senator Dave Lawson stated that Delaware residents had a Constitutional right to ignore the ban if it happens to be enacted.
“I think people have had enough like I’ve said, and there’s, well it’s a protection in the Constitution that we don’t have to abide by any law that isn’t constitutional — and these are not constitutional, there’s no way they are,” Lawson stated, as reported by Delaware Public Media.
The other legislation, Senate Bill 3, would require Delaware residents to be subjected to a safety course and receive a permit before being allowed to buy a handgun.