SB 163 – Assault Weapon Ban – Not Voted Out of Committee


The Senate Judiciary Committee has not released Senate Bill 163 to the full body after the measure came one vote short of release.  SB 163 prohibits the sale of assault weapons in Delaware.  Senator Greg Lavelle, in a release said, “After months of listening to constituents, and following today’s hearing, I decided not to release SB 163 from committee. As we heard repeatedly today, this piece of legislation clearly violates Article 1, Section 20 of the Delaware Constitution. Unlike many on the other side of the aisle, I consider the Constitution the first hurdle any piece of legislation must get over, and this bill clearly fails that test. There are firearms listed in this legislation that are used for the defense of home, for hunting and for recreation. All of those uses are constitutionally guaranteed.”

Governor John Carney, in a statement, says he’s extremely disappointed that Senate Bill163 will not go to a vote before the full Senate.  We’ve seen in mass shootings around the US the catastrophic damage these weapons can cause.  If SB 163 had seen a full vote in the Senate and was passed – Delaware would have become the 9th state to enact a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Gov Carney’s response – “I am extremely disappointed that the full Delaware Senate will not get a chance to vote on Senate Bill 163. As we’ve seen in mass shootings across our country, these weapons can be used to cause catastrophic damage, and allow those intent on doing harm to outgun members of law enforcement. Over the past several months – since the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. – students in Delaware and across our country have called on lawmakers to pass reasonable gun safety restrictions that will make our state and country safer. I have met with student leaders in Delaware, and could not be more impressed with their leadership on this issue. I hope they continue to speak up. I hope all adults are listening.”