Supreme Court weighs gun ban in Delaware parks, forests

 (AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

Delaware’s Supreme Court is weighing a decision in a lawsuit challenging bans on non-hunting firearms in state parks and forests.

The court heard arguments Wednesday in a dispute pitting members of the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club and the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association against Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Department of Agriculture.

The plaintiffs argue that the prohibition on guns violates their rights under Delaware’s constitution, which was amended in 1987 to explicitly state that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, as well as for hunting and recreation.

The state argues that prohibiting guns on state park and forest lands except for hunting is a legitimate exercise of government authority to protect public safety.

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A decision is expected within 90 days.

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