Delaware lawmakers pass second gun bill

It was the first of five in a series of gun legislation unveiled earlier this year and now it’s headed to Gov. Jack Markell’s desk to become a law.

Senate Bill 16 cleared the Delaware House 22-19 during a vote Tuesday. The bill requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within one week of discovering that the weapons are missing.

The bill was unveiled in February by Gov. Jack Markell, Attorney General Beau Biden and the bill’s sponsors.

The bill is aimed that shutting down the straw purchasing pipeline, the process of buying guns legally and then selling them to a prohibited person.

“Straw purchasers commonly claim to the police that guns they purchased which were later used to commit crime were either lost or stolen,” said Bien in a statement. “Under this legislation that claim, simply put, is no longer valid.  By providing accountability for straw purchasers’ illegal sale of weapons it will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals who cannot obtain guns by legitimate means.”

A first offense would carry a civil penalty ranging from $75 to $100 and $100 to $250 for the second violation. A third offense would be a class G felony, meaning the offender’s rights to own a gun could be taken away.

This is the second piece of new gun legislation passed by the general assembly this month. Last week, HB 35 was signed by Gov. Markell to close the “gun show loophole” by requiring private gun sales to go through the same steps as gun shops. The law goes into effect July 1.

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