Noting that hundreds of guns have been stolen out of cars in Delaware during the past few years, lawmakers filed a bill Friday that would impose criminal charges for gun owners who leave their firearm unattended and unsecured in their vehicles.
According to Delaware State Police’s State Bureau of Identification, nearly 600 firearms have been reported stolen from vehicles in Delaware since 2019. In many of these situations, the weapons were left unsecured.
Sponsored by Rep. Krista Griffith, House Bill 155 would require that firearms that are unattended in vehicle be stored in a locked box or container, a firearms rack on the vehicle, or locked in the trunk. A person would not be required to have their firearm locked up if they are in the vehicle with the gun.
Under HB 155, unsafe storage of a firearm in a vehicle would be a class A misdemeanor.
HB 155 has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
|HB 155 – SAFE STORAGE OF UNATTENDED GUNS IN MOTOR VEHICLES||Currrent Status – House Judiciary 5/12/23|
|House Sponsors – Griffith, Baumbach, Bolden, Heffernan, Longhurst||Senate Sponsors – Sokola, Gay, Hansen|
|House Yes Votes –||Senate Yes Votes –|
|House No Votes –||Senate No Votes –|
|House Absents or Not Voting –||Senate Absent or Not Voting –|
“Just in the past four-plus years, 600 guns have been stolen out of cars across Delaware. That’s hundreds of illegal guns out on our streets, presenting a huge danger to our communities. If we’re going to talk about responsible gun ownership, we should be doing everything reasonable we can prevent these types of situations,” said Rep. Griffith. “Requiring gun owners to secure their firearms in an unattended vehicle is a common-sense step that should prevent hundreds of firearms in Delaware from potentially ending up in the possession of people who legally can’t buy a gun.”
“Anytime we work to reduce gun violence in Delaware, the NRA tells us our laws won’t work because criminals will still get their hands on illegal firearms,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, the Senate prime sponsor of HB 155. “The reality is there are 600 illegal firearms on our streets today because people who likely consider themselves to be ‘responsible’ gun owners stored their deadly weapons irresponsibly. I want to thank Rep. Griffith for sponsoring this common-sense measure that will hopefully cause gun owners to think twice before their carelessness causes them to become an accessory to the illegal gun trade.”
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