U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sen. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark) introduced a new proposed ban on most semiautomatic guns in the Delaware General Assembly on Thursday.
Townsend based the bill on the infamous Maryland Firearm Safety Act of 2013 (“FSA”) which banned most modern sporting rifles. Maryland Democrats used the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut to push the bill through their legislator. It appears that the anti-gun politicians in Delaware are using the Parkland Florida shooting as an excuse to introduce the bill and push it through
The bill would ban 60 specific makes and models of rifles, shotguns, and “assault pistols”. The law goes further and would prohibit any gun that Delaware deems a “copycat weapon.” The legislation would give Delaware almost unlimited power to determine which firearm would fall into this category.
The bill would also prevent the transfer, sale, or manufacture of these firearms. Any firearms companies located in Delaware will have to shut down or leave the state. There is a grandfather clause for citizens that already own these rifles.
The bill states that it is necessary for the safety of the general public, as well as members of Delaware’s law-enforcement community. The legislation falsely asserts that these firearms are used disproportionately to their ownership in mass shootings and the murders of police. It also claims that the banning of these weapons would make criminals less dangerous.
In one part of the bill makes the absurd claim that the differences between semi-automatic firearms and automatic firearms are slight. It then makes the claim that semi-automatic guns are more lethal than automatic guns. It even goes as far as to ban any rifle that looks like an M16.
“These are not firearms used in home defense like handguns or for hunting like other types of rifles,” Townsend said in a statement. “They are derived from the battlefield, and their purpose is to kill in large numbers.”
The bill does acknowledge that some people do use these would-be banned firearms for self-defense. It then goes further and states that most people choose other guns for self-defense. It uses that fact to try to override the self-defense argument.
Townsend also wrongly claims that so-called “assault weapons bullets” can penetrate standard home construction and car doors while handgun rounds cannot. The bill also states that the 5.56 round can easily penetrate body armor. These false statements show that Townsend is either grossly misinformed or he is dishonest. Anti-gun groups have used this tactic in gun control bills in other states.
Townsend also wrote in the legislation that modern sporting rifles give criminals a “military-style advantage” over law enforcement. Most officers have access to AR15s along with training on the platform, and statistically, most criminals do not use AR15s in crimes. Any advantage would be canceled out for these reasons.
The bill sites the fourth circuit court upholding the Constitutionality of the Maryland law as the Constitutional justification for the act. The Supreme Court of The United States refused to hear the appeal of the decision of the fourth circuit court.
Gun rights groups have rejected this far-reaching law that would even ban throwing stars.
“There is no room for compromise or amendments on this,” Jeff Hague, president of Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association told Delaware Online. “This is bad legislation and we will not support it in any manner.”
It will be interesting to see how the debate on this bill plays out in the Delaware General Assembly. The bill is full of misconceptions and false information. Delaware gun owners should contact their representatives. The contact information for the Delaware General Assembly can be found here.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.