Delaware bill requiring permits to buy pistols clears hurdle

Glock Model 21" by Michael @ NW Lens is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED.

For many of us, going to buy a handgun is a simple matter. We just go down to the gun store and buy one. We either deal with the NICS check or we flash our carry permit and it’s over.


Delaware thinks that’s way too easy, though.

Never you mind that you still have to undergo a background check. They think you should have to go through mandatory training–at your expense–and get a permit before you can buy one.

And the bill to do that cleared its first hurdle this week.

A proposal to require anyone in Delaware wanting to buy a handgun to first be fingerprinted, undergo training and obtain permission from the state cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday after a public hearing in a Democrat-led Senate committee.

The bill was released by the Senate Judiciary Committee with no Republican support. It now heads to the Finance Committee for consideration of the estimated costs involved in setting up a “permit to purchase” program. Under Senate rules, however, the Finance Committee is not required to hold a hearing, or even to meet, to consider the legislation. Instead, the bill is expected to simply be passed to the full Senate for a floor vote next Tuesday.

“This is a common sense measure,” said chief sponsor Elizabeth Lockman, a Wilmington Democrat.

Opponents argue that the bill would impose costly and unnecessary burdens on law-abiding citizens and, like other gun-control measures, be ignored by the criminals responsible for Delaware’s gun violence problem.

“Many of you argue that Senate Bill 2 is common sense gun control, and I beg to differ,” said Corrina Slater. “Common sense gun control would be holding criminals responsible for their gun crimes.”

There’s nothing “common sense” about this.


It just looks that way if you know nothing about guns, crime, criminals, or any associated topic. If you do know it, you recognize that no, these requirements won’t do anything but hurt law-abiding citizens.

The poor will likely be hurt the worst, too.

Now, the Delaware bill does include a voucher provision for anyone who makes less than twice the poverty level, which is good. The problem is that many likely won’t know that.

Even if they did, there’s still the issue of taking time to go to training–many in that income bracket work jobs that have them working weekends when the classes are most likely being held–and figuring out transportation to where a class is being held.

If it’s beyond a certain distance, they’d likely have to figure out a place to sleep overnight.

All of these are added expenses that would deter many from seeking a permit in the first place. Yet these are also the people most likely to be victimized by violent crime.

Meanwhile, the criminals won’t get permits. They’ll trade guns back and forth. They’ll steal them from law-abiding citizens. They’ll continue doing all the awful things we associate criminals with doing. This won’t do anything to them, but the good people of Delaware will get well and truly hosed.

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