By Lee Williams
The Biden-Harris administration is telling sympathetic Democratic governors to pass more gun control legislation with the apparent belief that if more states pass restrictive anti-gun bills, it will be easier for the administration to push for similar legislation at the federal level.
The White House has already contacted governors in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California and Delaware. The bills they have come up with are similar in concept and some even use similar language. The legislation usually includes 21+ age restrictions for firearm purchasers, red flag bills as well as “assault weapon” and standard-capacity magazine bans.
Nowhere have gun owners been hit harder than in Biden’s home state of Delaware, where a bill that would prohibit magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds and a bill that would outlaw most semi-auto rifles are awaiting Gov. John Carney’s signature, after flying through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.
“Every center-fire rifle that’s magazine fed will be banned,” said John Sigler, who is past president of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, past president of the National Rifle Association and a current NRA Board member.
Delaware is a small state. Sigler has known Biden for decades.
“All of this is being driven by the White House,” Sigler said. “Joe has been a gun-banner forever – back to when he was running the Senate Judiciary Committee. My first dealings with him involved ‘Saturday Night Specials’ and ‘Cop Killer’ bullets. This is exactly what those of us here in Delaware feared when he announced he was running for president.”
HB 450 will become law the moment Gov. Carney signs it, which he is expected to do. It will ban 63 firearms by name, as well as any semi-auto rifle with a detachable magazine, any shotgun with a telescoping or folding stock or a revolving cylinder, any pistol with a detachable magazine outside the grip or a threaded barrel, and all pistols and rifles with fixed magazines capable of hold more than 17 rounds.
HB 450 states that gun owners cannot sell, offer for sale, transfer, purchase, receive or possess one of the banned firearms after the effective date – except you can keep what you had on or before the effective date. By prohibiting sale, the bill takes away the firearm’s value.
SS 1 for SB 6 bans magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds. It, too, awaits Gov. Carney’s signature, which he has promised to do.
There is no grandfather clause in this bill. Anyone who owns a magazine capable of holding more than 17 rounds must surrender it to police for a “buy back” or risk misdemeanor charges for the first offense and felony charges the second time they’re caught with a 17+ magazine.
At first the bill said the state would pay the owner $10 per magazine, but they only allocated $45,000 for the “buy back.” Now, the bill has been amended to offer the owner “current market value” for their property, which the legislature did not define. It has still only allocated $45,000 taxpayer dollars.
Delaware Sportsmen Association will sue
The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association has no choice but to sue once the bills are signed into law, Sigler said. It will be a costly endeavor.
“Our membership is stepping up to the plate, and people we’ve never heard of are contributing,” Sigler said. “We are preparing right now and we will see what transpires, but we will litigate. We promised to sue and we are going to carry out our promise.
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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.