Permit-to-Purchase Handgun Bill Released from House Appropriations Committee 

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The House Appropriations Committee has released legislation that would add Delaware to a growing list of states requiring residents to complete a firearm training course and obtain a permit before purchasing a handgun. Most Delawareans could obtain a permit to purchase a handgun if they have completed an approved firearm training course in the last five years, under Senate Bill 2 (S) sponsored by House Majority Leader Melissa Minor-Brown and Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman. Qualified active and retired law enforcement officers and anyone permitted to carry a concealed deadly weapon by the State of Delaware would be exempt from that requirement because they already would have been required to complete a firearm training course. House Speaker Valerie Longhurst reiterated her commitment to passing SB 2 (S) in the new year. The Delaware House of Representatives currently stands in recess and will reconvene on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. 

Additional Information:

“In almost every aspect of our lives, people must undergo some version of training: to operate machinery, for medical purposes, to drive, to serve alcohol, and many other activities. Requiring people who want to buy a firearm to take a training course isn’t some undue burden; it’s basic common sense to learn how to safely load, use and store a lethal weapon. This will help us reduce straw purchases, keep firearms out of the wrong hands, and ultimately make both the gun owners and the public safer,” said House Majority Leader Minor-Brown

“I’m looking forward to passing permit-to-purchase in the House so we can send the final bill to Governor Carney to sign into law.” 

SB 2 (S) was released from House Judiciary Committee in May. Under House Rules (specifically, House Rule No. 20), SB 2(S) was then reassigned to the House Appropriations Committee. Under that rule, any bill with a fiscal note estimating that it would cost $100,000 or more in any one of the next three fiscal years must be reassigned to the Appropriations Committee, which is comprised of the House members of the Joint Finance Committee.  

House Speaker Valerie Longhurst reiterated her commitment to passing SB 2 (S) when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. 

“For the past decade, we have passed some of the most comprehensive gun safety laws in the country, making Delaware a leader by strengthening our background checks, closing loopholes, banning assault-style firearms and large-capacity magazines, and instituting red flag laws. I’ve been proud to sponsor many of these bills and stand up to the gun lobby,” Speaker Longhurst said.  

“This bill is the next piece of the puzzle to keeping our communities safe and I’m looking forward to bringing permit to purchase to the House floor as soon as we return to session in January.” 

The Delaware House of Representatives currently stands in recess and will reconvene on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. 


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