Del. House Passes Bill That Restricts “Assault-Style” Weapons


The Delaware House of Representatives voted 22-19 Thursday in favor of legislation that would, according to its sponsors, effectively prohibit the buying, selling, and possession of assault-style weapons. Such weapons would be legally defined and would include the AK-47, AR-15, UZI and similar firearms.

The legislation, House Bill 450, would “grandfather” existing weapons and protect their owners from facing criminal charges, while placing restrictions on transportation and use of those weapons

“The intention of this legislation is simple and clear: To make sure the next Uvalde, the next Buffalo, the next Sandy Hook, does not take place in the state of Delaware. It’s to make sure that, in Delaware, it is against the law to obtain the kind of weapons that can inflict this level of carnage and devastation – highly lethal weapons with their origins in the field of military combat, which have ended up in our schools and shopping malls,” House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear said. “The shooter at Robb Elementary school had an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle. The shooters in Buffalo, El Paso, Parkland, Las Vegas, and Sandy Hook were also armed with semi-automatic assault-style weapons that would be prohibited by this bill.”

“HB 450 is one piece of a puzzle that we have been working to put together for the last several years. We have worked to address mental health in our schools and communities; we’ve enacted Red Flag laws to identify those who should not be allowed to obtain weapons; we’ve dedicated millions of dollars to making our school buildings safer and more secure; and we’ve worked to reduce the heinous lethality of the firearms in our state by banning bump stocks and other devices,” Longhurst added. “I’m grateful to my colleagues for taking this bold step forward today and look forward to it becoming law.”

The bill now goes on to the State Senate for consideration,.

According to the House Democratic Caucus:

HB 450 would not prohibit the possession and transport of firearms that were lawfully possessed or fully applied for before the bill becomes law, with certain restrictions. There would be exceptions for law-enforcement and military personnel in the course of their official duties, and a limited exception for retired law-enforcement personnel. A person lawfully in possession of an assault weapon prior to the passage of HB 450 could lawfully transfer the weapon to their immediate family member, through inheritance or otherwise.

Additionally, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security would be required to develop a procedure for issuance of a voluntary certificate of possession to show lawful possession of an assault weapon prior to the bill becoming law. A gun owner would not be required to apply for the certificate. The department would not be permitted to retain copies of issued certificates or identifying information of any applicant.