Delaware Vote Tracker

SB163 – Townsend, Longhurst to Introduce Assault Weapons Ban

As we wait to see whether the House will strip the Ennis Amendment from HB300 (Bump Stock Ban) that makes a first offense possession of a bump stock a misdemeanor and not a felony, it would appear that House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and Senator Bryan Townsend will be introducing an Assault Weapon Ban later this week.

The legislation would be based upon Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act of 2013, which was passed after the massacre of young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. It would prohibit the manufacture, sale, transfer, purchase, receipt, possession, or transport of assault weapons in Delaware.

So what defines an assault weapon and what are the exemptions? The proposed legislation embedded below includes a long list of assault rifles and guns that would be included in the ban. We will also need to study the exemptions and exceptions already present in this bill to see if they weaken the bill too much or if they have a purpose, as opposed to the Ennis Amendment.

The constitutional scholars on the Republican side of the aisle, such as they are, will be happy to know that the federal courts have approved of Maryland’s ban. In Kolbe v. Hogan, 849 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2017), the full Fourth Circuit relied upon the US Supreme Court’s holding in DC v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) when declaring that assault weapons are among those arms that are “like” “M-16 rifles” — “weapons that are most useful in military service” — which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach. You see Conservatives, you can ban military style weapons and be fully compliant with the Second Amendment. The Founders did not think you should own a surface to air missile either.

SB163 – Assault Weapons Ban
SPONSOR – Townsend, Longhurst, Brady, Potter, Henry, Marshall, McDowell, Sokola, Baumbach, Bentz, Heffernan, Kowalko, Lynn, B.Short
NO –
HISTORY – Senate Judicial & Community Affairs 3/22/18
STATUS – Waiting on a hearing in committee

Picture above from Valerie Longhurst’s public Facebook page when she hosted students in the General Assembly.  Given the student led gun safety movement we are now experiencing, I thought it was appropriate.

12 comments on “SB163 – Townsend, Longhurst to Introduce Assault Weapons Ban

  1. Mary-Lee

    I can always count on my representative, Bryan Townsend, to do the right thing.

  2. “The Founders did not think you should own a surface to air missile either.”

    No, obviously they didn’t, but if those types of weapons were around at the time, they would have been more than happy if the militias(the people) had them. You see, the people and those who governed back then were suspicious of any one permanent standing army with “regular” soldiers, so we had local militias with few “regulars” who would make sure that the militia was “well-regulated” or sufficiently operated and trained in case they were needed.

    If you were lucky enough or had the means to possess a gun or guns, then of course you would have had them ,and you would have been expected to bring them with you when the militias gathered.

    I don’t think you can just look to the Bill of Rights alone when it comes to “gun control” because the technology has changed, but it is also irrational to have the position that gun ownership should be limited to Colonial period technology.

    • cassandram

      And here you are, making shit up again. Peddle this crap wherever conservatives are rewriting history to fit their biases. Anono can point the way for you.

      • What biases? Im not anti gun control, and I think that was clear in my comment.

        • BTW, I am moderate in my political beliefs while you are fringe in yours, so who is biased?

      • Hey, I resemble that comment;)

  3. What part am I making up?

  4. @RSE: The parts about the reasons for and training of the militias. They were varied, and in the South were mainly slave patrols. What you repeated is the gun-hugger version of history. You are far more biased than you think you are.

  5. waterpirate

    This is feel good legislation at best. If it makes you sleep better at night than good on you. If I am reading this correctly, on line 151 If you already own it or have ordered it legally, before the bill passes then you can own it, and keep it. Nothing to get all worked up about. I see it as a way to further punish offenders who posses one illegally. What is wrong with that?

  6. This is not serious legislation, just a publicity grab. If Townsend (and any other politician for that matter) were serious about attempting to reduce deaths due to gun violence they would propose a complete ban on plea bargains and sentence reductions for any gun related crimes, drastically increased penalties for any armed robbery or similar crimes where the defendant is armed, and much stricter mandatory sentencing for any gun-related crime repeat offenders.

    I don’t have a problem with this legislation but let’s recognize it for what it is.

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