General Assembly Vote Tracker

SB68 – Ban of Military Assault Weapons

Democrats will attempt to ban military-style semi-automatic assault rifles again this session of the General Assembly. Similar bans have not made it to the floor of either House for a vote. We will see if the legislator’s recent experience with the gun nuts (both their vile tactics recently and their failure at the polls in November 2018) will lend some courage to our Senators and Representatives to do the right thing.

Senate Bill 68 would ban the sale of about 60 specific assault-style weapons in Delaware, including AK-47s, AR-15s and UZIs. Maryland, New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia have enacted similar bans, all of which have withstood legal challenges. The bill would grandfather existing weapons and protect their owners from being misidentified as law breakers while placing restrictions on the transportation and use of those weapons. The bill also would exclude police and military personnel.

“I am a proud U.S. Army veteran, a soldier who was on the frontlines trained to be an expert marksman on automatic weapons,” said Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha, D-Wilmington, the prime House sponsor of SB 68. “Those weapons were not just necessary to do my job, but became a valued part of who I was,” he said. “However, I know in my head and heart that these weapons of war have no place in our communities. I’ve seen so much loss to gun violence – families who have buried their children, students I’ve mentored gunned down and family members taken from me too soon. We have to change the culture of guns within our nation, state, cities and communities, and these bills are a substantial step forward. ”

WHERE IS THE BILL? Senate Executive Committee as of 4/10/19

DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Townsend, McDowell, Chukwuocha, Sokola, Sturgeon, Baumbach, Bentz, Bolden, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Kowalko

REPUBLICAN SPONSORS – None.

YES VOTES – 

NO VOTES – 

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

6 comments on “SB68 – Ban of Military Assault Weapons

  1. John Krzewinski

    And again a bunch of liberals crying thinking people are going to shoot up places.. people can now people down with cars and semis..

    • meatball

      Seems to me the only one crying is this idiot John Krzewinski. Laughing and pointing at you John, hiding you 30 rounders, lol.

    • Trying to change hearts and minds or just trolling? If it’s just trolling, most of the people will just ignore it. If you are trying to change hearts and minds, you’ll will need better arguments.

      Yes, many think people are going to shoot up places, because they have been consistently doing so. And yes, people can mow down others with cars and semis, but there is little evidence that we are at great risk of that happening. If there were such a risk, society would be pondering what to do about it, much the same way we are pondering what to do about firearms. If you can not or will not recognize that, then you will have to resign yourself to trolling (and of course paying Wayne Lapierre’s $1 million salary – I’m sure he is deeply appreciative for your support).

      • steve crawley

        You asked for a reasoned argument. Below are my thoughts from my own independent research.

        I do recognize that there is a serious issue with illegal use of firearms resulting in tragic injuries and loss of life.  I do not believe the root of this problem lies in guns. I believe our state would be better served with efforts targeted toward: 
        – education and skills training
        – mental illness detection and treatment
        – substance abuse and addiction rehabilitation 
        – rigorous prosecution of gun laws already on the books in Delaware.
         
        These recommendations align with the recommendations in the CDC Study requested by Wilmington City Council (Elevated Rates of Urban Firearm Violence and Opportunities for Prevention—Wilmington, Delaware)
         
        I do not believe the bills recentlyconsidered by the Delaware Senate would have any measurable reduction in gun violence.  They are not gun safety bills; they are gun control bills.
         
        Senate Bill 68 – AN ACT TO AMEND THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS (BAN ON SELF-LOADING FIREARMS) This bill will not reduce gun violence in Delaware.  There have been no instances where semi-automatic center fire rifles have been used in any shootings in Delaware. I acknowledge that there have been sick or evil persons that have committed horrific crimes using those firearms.  Despite the broad media coverage of those events, they are extremely rare. 
         
        The Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 had no measurable effect on crime.  In a New Your Times article on Sep. 12, 2014 Lois Beckett wrote, “But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference.”
         
        A Department of Justice-funded evaluation concluded, “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”
         
        Gun control advocates will argue the average American citizen has no need for military style weapons.  They say our founding fathers never conceived the type of technology employed by modern firearms.  I would argue the framers of our constitution knew exactly what they were doing.  They said so: 
         
        “This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”
        Alexander Hamilton – “Federalist Papers #29”
         
        The cutting-edge technology in 1780s was the flintlock musket.  That is exactly what our founders advocated citizens owning – the cutting-edge technology. The Second Amendment is not about hunting and recreational shooting.
         
        “As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant of the people….
        The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.”
        Jeff Snyder – “A Nation of Cowards,” in Public Interest Quarterly/Fall 1993
         
        It is sad to note that the majority of those calling for an assault weapons ban do not know the difference between a fully automatic M4 rifle used by our military and a semi-automatic modern sporting rifle (AR-15 which means Armalite Rifle Design 15 designed in 1957)
         
        The bill will require those who currently own these “banned” firearms to register such ownership in a searchable database with personal identifiable information. This is nothing short gun registry.  And, the registered owner will never be allowed to sell those “banned” firearms, thus robbing them of the resale value.
         
        Senate Bill 69 – AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS (PERMIT TO PURCHASE)  This bill will not stop criminals from acquiring guns.  They will not follow the law.  It is an impediment to lawful citizens who want to purchase a firearm for recreation or home defense purposes.  Delaware already has a stringent firearm purchase process that includes a background check with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  I worked at the Christiana Cabela’s gun counter and witnessed this process many times.  It did stop persons prohibited from acquiring a gun from this lawful retailer. I personally stopped several transactions when I saw what I believed to be a “straw purchase” in progress.  An accurate NICS database and vigilant sellers following current laws are the best deterrent to persons prohibited acquiring firearms from lawful dealers.  Adding a “permit requirement” to purchase that includes:
        – new permit every three years to buy long arms
        – new permit good valid for only 90 days for every single handgun purchase
        – fingerprinting for every new permit
        – firearm training course every two years (even though the long arm permit is supposed to be valid for three years)
        – creating a searchable database with personal identifiable information
        are all simply barriers to lawful citizens exercising their rights under the U.S Constitution’s Second Amendment and Article I Section – 20 of the Delaware Constitution.  Criminals will not bother themselves with these requirements.
         
        I am not opposed to firearms safety training.  I have taken NRA gun safety courses provided by certified instructors. I do believe any individual who wishes to own and use a firearm should be well versed on how it functions, proper use and the fundamentals of firearm safety.  I believe that gun owners should regularly train with their firearm at a gun range. I regularly practice at Ommelanden and other local target ranges. I think there is a place in our regulations for such requirements without them being overly costly and unduly repetitive.  Firearms education and training should not become a barrier to gun ownership.
         
        Senate Bill 70 – AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DEADLY WEAPONS (BAN ON MAGAZINE IN EXCESS OF 15 ROUNDS) This bill will not stop criminals from using guns in violent crime. It will criminalize thousands of law-abiding citizens who legally own the standard capacity magazine for the modern sporting rifle and full-sized pistols. 
         
        There is no empirical evidence that a 15-round limit would have any effect on crime or violence.  This arbitrary limit adversely impacts the ability of law-abiding citizen to defend self, family and home. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined in Duncan v. Becerra that California’s ban (10 round or less magazine) deprived citizens of the right to defend themselves, their families and their homes in violation of the Second Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.
         
        This is an act of confiscation, pure and simple.  I know the bill has a provision for $10 per magazine buy-back with a total of $15,000 appropriated for that purpose.  That would buy back only 1500 magazines.  First, $10 per magazine is not a price consistent with the average purchase price.  A quick check of Cabela’s website will show that the lowest cost Magpul standard capacity magazine is $14.99 (https://www.cabelas.com/product/shooting/firearm-components/gun-magazines/pc/104792580/c/104717880/sc/104442480/magpul-pmag-ar-m-gen-m-x-mm-nato/1576966.uts?slotId=1).  Second, it is no stretch of anyone’s imagination to guess that far more than 1500 of these “banned magazines” are legally owned by Delaware citizens.
         

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