Delaware Gun Rights stands “ready for a fight” as a Democratic State Senator seeks support for her gun control legislation that would require a permit and training course in order to purchase a firearm, a process that would limit the amount to only one per-year.
The legislation, introduced and sponsored by State Senator Laura Sturgeon, stalled in a state committee last session.
“You’re going to have a situation where you have a 30-day window to purchase, it’s going to take almost six months to recieve the license, so you’re only going to be able to purchase one gun per year,” explained Mitch Denham, president of Delaware Gun Rights.
Denham further stressed that such legislation, if passed and signed into law, would place a financial burden on lower income Delawareans when attempting to purchase a firearm.
“You’re going to inherently prevent people with meager means from being able to purchase firearms because you’ve now created an us and them class,” Denham stated. “People that can afford it and people that can’t afford it.”
In a social media post imploring her Senate colleagues to support the legislation, Sen. Sturgeon called on increased activism and vocalization from supporters of gun control, drawing a comparison to the successful efforts from those with Delaware Gun Rights who’ve lobbied in the thousands to stop prior proposals from passing over the course of the past two sessions in the General Assembly.
“If you are reading this, watch how quickly this post accumulates hundreds of anti gun-legislation comments,” Sturgeon wrote. “Understand that until the pro-gun safety crowd becomes as vocal and intense, especially in the districts where legislators are on the fence, we will not succeed in making meaningful change to our gun laws.”
Currently, three gun control bills await consideration in the Senate Executive Committee: Permit to Purchase, Assault Weapons Ban, and a ban on High-Capacity Magazines.
The Permit to Purchase legislation, Senate Bill 69, would create an application process to obtain a handgun qualified purchaser card in order for anyone to purchase a firearm. As part of that application process, a firearms training course would be required within two years before the date of application.
Sen. Sturgeon has been actively trying to push support for her stalled gun control proposal, working closely with Moms Demand Action, a pro-gun safety advocacy group, the freshman Senator has vowed to remain steadfast until the bill is considered next year.
“I remain committed to seeing additional gun safety legislation passed in Delaware,” Sen. Sturgeon said. “We have three bills in play now that can be released for a vote in January. We should act on all or some of them. Doing nothing is not an option.”
While Sen. Sturgeon may be committed to her position, the same can be said for Denham vowed that he and the thousands who follow his group are “ready to fight” and that moving forward the same pressure that resulted in the failure of similar bills will be maximized ahead of the start of next year’s session.
“The pressure that we’ve put on the legislation here in Dover is what’s keeping us in the position that we’re in. What we’re doing there is what’s keeping these bills at bay,” Denham said. “We’re going to stay vigilant as far as watching what bills are proposed, speaking with our legislators, and seeing if they’re hearing anything coming down the pike. We’re trying to monitor what’s going on.”
Legislation that would’ve banned assault weapons failed to make it out of committee the past two sessions, which many largely attributed to the overwhelming lobbying efforts of gun rights activists, specifically those with Delaware Gun Rights, who consistently show up in droves at Legislative Hall during the course of session.
“The Delaware Gun Rights members know that they’re not sleeping, so neither should we,” Denham concluded.
WGMD’s Rob Petree reached out to Sen. Sturgeon who has yet to respond to a request for comment.