Delaware Proposes Gun Purchasing Card Bill, Assault Weapon Ban

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

When you want to talk politics online, do you have to ask permission from the government to do so?

Do you have to have a special ID card to purchase a computer?


What about when you worship, do you have to ask the state to go to church?

Of course not. These are rights. They’re yours by virtue of you being a living, breathing human being in the greatest nation on the planet. You don’t need to ask permission to exercise rights.

Well, you don’t in most places.

However, in some places like Illinois, you need to get government permission to purchase a firearm in the form of a special ID card. Now, Delaware is considering a similar measure.

In addition to resurrecting proposed bans on certain firearms and ammunition magazines, Democrats also are proposing a new bill requiring anyone who wants to buy a gun in Delaware to obtain permission in advance from state officials.

Under draft legislation expected to be introduced as soon as Wednesday, any Delawarean wanting to buy a firearm would first have to obtain a state-issued “purchaser card,” which would require being fingerprinted and taking an approved firearms training course. Gun dealers, meanwhile, would be required to submit information on every gun sold and every gun purchaser for entry into a new state database.

The Democrats also have resurrected and strengthened a proposed ban on certain semiautomatic weapons that gun control advocates describe as “assault weapons” and a proposed ban on “large capacity” magazines.

The ban on military-style semiautomatic rifles, also known as modern sporting rifles, is once again being sponsored by Sen. Bryan Townsend, a Democrat from Newark.

Townsend sponsored similar legislation last year that failed to get out of committee, then was the subject of a failed effort to suspend Senate rules and bring it up for a floor vote.


I can’t speculate on whether anything will pass in Delaware or not. I suspected Townsend’s bill would pass last year and it didn’t, so it’s clear I don’t understand the political landscape up there well enough to say. The fact that there’s something akin to a grandfather clause in this year’s version of Townsend’s bill may help it pass–you can submit a “voluntary certificate of possession” which will prove pre-ban ownership–but it also may not.

However, the idea of requiring someone to jump through multiple hoops to buy a gun is beyond ridiculous.

Look, if you want people to have firearm safety training, put it in public schools. Make it part of the state curriculum so that everyone growing up in the state knows how to handle a gun safely.

But to require people to sit through class to exercise a constitutionally protected right? That’s going too damn far.

My most sincere hope is to see this, and the assault weapon ban, die such fiery deaths that no one ever considers proposing them in Delaware again.  I don’t think that is likely to happen, but hopefully, sanity will reign again in the state house up that way.

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