General Assembly Vote Tracker

HB63 – Gun Storage Law

Representative Sean Lynn has introduced the first gun safety legislation of the new General Assembly session with House Bill 63. This bill would require the supposedly responsible gun owner to actually be responsible.

Privately-owned firearms are stolen in America between 300,000 and 600,000 every year, according to a new survey of gun ownership by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern Universities. At the high end, that’s more than 1,600 guns stolen every day, more than one every minute.

According to the Washington Post, 8 out of 10 gun-related crimes involve a perpetrator carrying a gun owned by another individual (i.e. a stolen firearm). From 2012-2015, over 3,000 guns were stolen from individual gun owners in Delaware.

The new law will modify the existing crime of “unlawfully permitting a child access to a firearm,” changing it to “unlawful storage of a firearm.” The statute will now state that a crime occurs if a gun owner stores a loaded firearm in a reckless or negligent manner that allows a minor or someone who is not allowed to have a gun to obtain the weapon.

The crime would not occur unless someone prohibited actually obtains a recklessly or negligently stored weapon. So the police can’t just enter a home on probable cause that a gun is stored improperly unless someone has actually obtained that weapon illegally. The crime would also be a misdemeanor, though the degree of the infraction can be elevated depending on whether the gun was used in a crime.

Where is the bill now? Introduced and placed in the House Judiciary Committee on 2/28/19.

Democratic Sponsors — Lynn, Sturgeon, Townsend, Bentz, Bambauch, Kowalko

Republican Sponsors —

Yes Votes — 

No Votes — 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

12 comments on “HB63 – Gun Storage Law

  1. Seems common sense to me, if you agree, here is a email campaign to send a letter to your representatives! https://actionnetwork.org/letters/safe-storage-now

  2. Ron Borkowski

    So if an illegal alien breaks in to my house, steals my gun and shoots someone, I go to jail and he gets sanctuary and citizenship. Makes perfect sense.

    • Delaware Dem

      Nope. You have obviously chosen not to read the bill and instead listen only to NRA propaganda since you are too stupid to think for yourself. The gun owner will be deemed to have acted responsibly if the gun is stored in a locked box or if it is secured by a trigger lock, or if it is stored “in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure from access by an unauthorized person.” So if the gun is stolen by anyone after all that, the gun owner will not be held responsible. So try again.

    • RE Vanella

      This Borkowski fella is a fan of right-wing rube radio, I fear. Lots of fascists tropes here. Do you guys give dumbfuck awards? I nominate Ronald B!

    • delacrat

      “So if an illegal alien breaks in to my house, steals my gun and shoots someone,…” – Ron B

      Why do you say “illegal alien”? Are you OK with a legal alien doing that?

    • If an Incel Magat breaks into my house, they’re gonna learn a lesson about incorrect stereotypes and progressives’ views on gun ownership. My flex was better than yours. feel bad.

    • Yes, as long as it is you we are discussing. Lock him up, the irresponsible gun owner.

  3. It’s a horseshit law. Pure pandering. In what world shouldn’t your home be considered to be a place where “…a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure from access by an unauthorized person” regardless of lockboxes or trigger guards?

    Not even clear that this law would pass constitutional muster.

    You want to reduce gun crime in Delaware? Make any felony committed with a firearm in your possession or the possession of an accomplice a class A felony with a 15 year minimum sentence. Then we’ll see which lawmakers are serious about reducing gun crime.

    But all we would hear about from Sean Lynn and John Kowalko would be “muh… mass incarceration”…

    • Delaware Dem

      “Make any felony committed with a firearm in your possession or the possession of an accomplice a class A felony with a 15 year minimum sentence. Then we’ll see which lawmakers are serious about reducing gun crime.” Ok, And when a Senator or Representative introduces this bill, your support of it will be loud and unwavering, correct?

    • cassandram

      Children are unauthorized persons. Plenty of people know or are related to persons prohibited who have access to their homes. In fact, this is sometimes the story of a straw purchase — I bought a gun and now it’s gone! No I don’t know how it got stolen!

      What is genuinely hilarious about watching the NRA freakout on this is that their very freakout undermines their argument that most gunowners are committed to safe and legal use of those firearms. The only thing this law does is impose a penalty for those lacking in some basic safety and responsibility in letting those guns be accessible. Once again proving that the party of personal responsibility has none.

    • ” In what world shouldn’t your home be considered to be a place where “…a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure from access by an unauthorized person”

      A world were there were not an estimated 3.7 million burglaries occurring each year (BJS statistics), which anyone with more than a single functioning brain cell would know is not this world. Criminals get guns from people like you, who leave them laying around, cause Murica. Criminals steal guns from people like you and they then kill people with your guns. You are partially responsible for those deaths because you are a irresponsible gun owner. You want a gun? Then grow a pair and be responsible for your actions.

    • Reading you makes me conclude the 2nd amendment is deeply flawed by only outlining a right, and leaving the accompanying set of responsibilities out off the table. You really don’t think gun owners have any responsibilities just because they aren’t spelled out? You’re a moron.

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