The Senate and House passed House Bill 155 at the end of the session, a bill introduced by Rep. Krista Griffith that would impose criminal charges on gun owners who leave their firearms unattended and unsecured in their vehicles. However, the bill was amended in the Senate so it needs to be passed by the House in January before it can go to Governor Carney’s desk.
According to the Delaware State Police, nearly 600 firearms have been reported stolen from vehicles in the First State since 2019.
Under HB 155, gun owners who leave a firearm in an unattended vehicle would be required to first place that firearm in a locked box or container, a firearms rack on the vehicle or locked in the trunk. Failure to safely store a firearm in an unattended vehicle would be a class A misdemeanor.
“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 Sen. 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. My hope is this measure will cause gun owners to think twice before their carelessness causes them to become an accessory to the illegal gun trade.”
|HB 155 – SAFE STORAGE OF UNATTENDED GUNS IN MOTOR VEHICLES||Currrent Status – House Passed 24-13-1-3. Senate Amended and Passed 15-6. Sent back to House.|
|House Sponsors – Griffith, Baumbach, Bolden, Heffernan, Longhurst||Senate Sponsors – Sokola, Gay, Hansen|
|House Yes Votes – Baumbach Bolden Bush Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan Johnson Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Moore Morrison Neal Osienski Parker-Selby Phillips Romer Schwartzkopf Williams Wilson-Anton||Senate Yes Votes – Brown Gay Hansen Hoffner Huxtable Lockman Mantzavinos McBride Paradee Pinkney Poore Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh|
|House No Votes – Briggs King Collins, Short, Dukes, Gray, Postles, Shupe, Spiegelman, Vanderwende, Hilovsky, Morris, Yearick // Carson||Senate No Votes – Buckson Hocker Lawson Pettyjohn Richardon Wilson|
|House Absents or Not Voting – (Absent) Smith, Hensley, Harris (Not Voting) Ramone||Senate Absent or Not Voting –|