Delaware: Restrictions Coming Your Way

Senate Bill 6, sponsored by Sen. David Sokola (District 8), defines a large-capacity magazine as an ammunition-feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 17 rounds.

Citizens possessing such magazines, if this bill becomes law, must relinquish them to a state law enforcement agency. Included are magazines that may “readily be converted” above the 17-round capacity and any magazine with a removable floorplate or endplate “if the device can readily be extended to accept more than 17 rounds of ammunition.”

SB 6 includes provisions for a publicly funded “buy-back” program, an ugly misnomer, as it is impossible for a government to “buy back” something it never purchased in the first place.

The bill will also make the possession of large-capacity magazines a Class B misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class E felony for a subsequent offense.

Rep. Valerie Longhurst (District 15) and Rep. Nnamdi O. Chukwuocha (District 1) introduced House Bill 450, which would prohibit “the manufacture, sale, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession, or transport of assault weapons in Delaware, subject to certain exceptions.”

A person owning an AR- or AK-platform firearm may keep it if he or she can prove he or she owned it prior to the bill’s passage. A banned firearm may only be transferred to direct family members or bequeathed to heirs and only be possessed at, or transported to and from, “certain locations.” These locations include the owner’s residence, shooting ranges, private property with the property owner’s written permission, or licensed firearms dealers.

Sponsored by Rep. Peter Schwartzkopf (District 14), a retired law enforcement officer, HB 451 prohibits a person under the age of 21 from purchasing, owning, possessing or controlling a firearm or ammunition unless he or she is an active member of the Armed Forces or a qualified law enforcement officer or has a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon. (NOTE: Only 26,000 people have a concealed carry permit in Delaware, less than 3 percent of the state population. Curiously, at this time open carry is legal for anyone over 18 who can legally possess a firearm.)

The bill does not apply to shotguns, muzzle-loading rifles and “deadly weapons other than firearms.” Pellet guns of .177 caliber are not illegal. Persons under the age of 21 may “possess or control” a gun for hunting, instruction or recreational shooting while under the direct supervision of a person who is at least 21 years old.

HB 423, sponsored by Rep. John Mitchell (District 13), authorizes the Delaware State Police’s State Bureau of Identification to create a Firearm Transaction Approval Program. This program would be the point of contact for Delaware background checks instead of the FBI’s NICS.

According to Rep. Mitchell, the state would thus be “responsible for determining if a potential buyer or transferee is prohibited from receipt or possession of a firearm.”

CriminalDefenseLawyer.com, NRAILA.org

 

North Carolina: Vetoing Governor

Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has requested that the North Carolina General Assembly pass an immediate “assault weapons” ban. Indeed, he wants them taken entirely out of the hands of U.S. citizens. On June 3, 2022, recognized as “Gun Violence Awareness Day,” he announced, “It’s past time for common-sense reforms that must take place at the congressional and legislative levels — stronger background checks, red flag laws, banning assault weapons and community violence interventions so that we can prevent these horrific events [school shootings].”

In 2021, Gov. Cooper vetoed HB 398, which would have repealed the antiquated North Carolina pistol permit system in favor of using the FBI’s NICS background check. The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association supported the bill.

Gov. Cooper also vetoed SB 43, which would have allowed citizens who hold a concealed handgun permit to carry in their private places of worship. His reason was that on other days, the buildings might be used as schools and citizens might become confused. The News & Observer reported, “Highway deaths have risen 45 percent since 2011, to 1,755 last year. That’s the most in a single year since 1973, when the death toll reached 1,892, according to data compiled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.” And yet Cooper has not yet called for the abolition of automobiles.

NRAILA.org, NewsObserver.com

 

New York: Merry-Go-Round

Sponsored by Sen. Brad Hoylman (District 27), SB S4116A requires semi-automatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in the state to be capable of micro-stamping ammunition. First introduced in February 2017 as Assembly Bill A5826A, the bill is titled the “Crime Gun Identification Act of 2018.”

Sen. Hoylman suggests the dubious technology “will provide an initial lead for law enforcement by enabling law enforcement to match the cartridge casing found at a crime to the original owner of the firearm.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) also promoted legislation to raise the legal age to purchase a firearm in New York. She states that, at a minimum, citizens under 21 should be banned from buying “assault rifles.”

“New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but clearly we need to make them even stronger,” Hochul said.

She promised to:

  • Require information-sharing between state, local and federal agencies when guns are used in crimes
  • Make threatening mass harm a crime
  • Require microstamping for new guns
  • Increase the levels of accountability for social media platforms
  • Eliminate grandfathering of large-capacity ammunition-feeding devices
  • Prohibit the purchase of body armor for anyone who is not engaged in an eligible profession
  • Strengthen the red flag laws by expanding who can file for an ERPO
  • Require that an individual obtain a license, with a minimum age of 21, to purchase a semi-automatic rifle
  • Close the so-called “any other weapon” loophole

On June 6, 2022, Gov. Hochul signed a package of 10 gun-related bills into law. Notably, SB 9458 restricts anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a semi-automatic rifle.

Gov. Hochul declared she will “strengthen our gun laws, help keep New Yorkers safe, give law enforcement the tools they need to prevent crime and stop the spread of dangerous weapons.”

Thus, once again politicians fail to accept that the violence problem in the U.S. is not a gun problem.

NYSenate.gov, Ballotpedia.org, Politico.com

 

Oklahoma: Misguided

The Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus, led by Rep. Emily Virgin (District 44), has introduced a bill package called the “Stand Against Violence and Extremism Act.” Its objective is to convene an immediate special session of the Legislature to enact laws that will enhance public safety through additional gun control.

According to Rep. Monroe Nichols (District 72), “The SAVE Act is a common-sense approach to help prevent gun violence in Oklahoma. House Democrats refuse to sit idly as our citizens begin to fear grocery stores, hospitals, community events and schools.”

The Democrat’s SAVE Act intends to:

  • Repeal permitless carry of concealed weapons
  • Repeal concealed carry in most public places
  • Repeal the anti-red flag act and pass ERPO legislation
  • Increase the waiting period for gun purchases
  • Forbid citizens under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm

NRAILA.org, TheCenterSquare.com, OklahomaHouseDems.org

 

Great Britain: Voluntary Surrender Overseas

On March 12, Great Britain launched a two-week campaign to encourage subjects to voluntarily surrender their firearms … in fact, anything even vaguely resembling a gun. Criminals were assured that they would receive amnesty for any object illegally possessed.

“All you have to do is give us the gun,” said Deputy Chief Constable Helen McMillan.

The police said they expected to receive family heirlooms, old World War II service revolvers, unregistered shotguns that predate the country’s 1988 Firearms Act, blank guns, and even starter pistols and antiques.

The NRA has called the basis for such a voluntary surrender “an ideology based more on symbolism, superstition, aesthetics, bureaucracy and the urge to control others than on a sincere, rational and empirical concern for safety or crime control.”

NRAILA.org, TheBoltonNews.co.uk, Bloomberg.com, DailySignal.com

 

New Jersey: Whither Thou Goest?

Sen. Ed Durr (District 3) has introduced several bills to expand gun rights in New Jersey, including funding for youth clubs focused on target shooting. Few of his bills stand a chance of legitimate legislative debate in the Garden State, which truly is a shame.

But beware of SB 513, sponsored by Sens. Joseph P. Cryan (District 20) and Shirley K. Turner (District 15), which “establishes rebuttable presumption of pretrial detention for defendants who commit certain firearms offenses under [the] Graves Act.” In other words, an individual stopping for gas on the way to the shooting range or perhaps a widow transporting his or her spouse’s firearms to the police station is cause for serious legal jeopardy.

The Graves Act imposes stricter penalties on a person involved in a crime committed with a firearm. This includes possession of a firearm by someone who is banned by law from owning and having weapons in his or her possession. The act can even apply to a BB gun, which in New Jersey is considered a “real firearm” and therefore requires an owner to apply for a license.

The Graves Act can also apply to an individual who legally purchased a firearm in another state and who enters New Jersey with that firearm. Unlawful possession of a firearm under the Graves Act calls for at least three years in prison, with a maximum sentence of five years without parole.

NRAILA.org, NJLeg.State.NJ.us, RosenblumLaw.com, LegiScan.com, NewJerseyMonitor.com