MEDIA ADVISORY: Governor Carney To Sign HB 174

Bill will strengthen penalties for illegal purchases of firearms

DOVER, Del. – On Wednesday, April 18, Governor Carney will sign House Bill 174, which strengthens penalties for illegal purchases of firearms, deterring “straw purchases” by making jail time more likely for the offender. This bill raises the first offense of purchasing or obtaining a firearm for someone not legally qualified to own, possess or purchase one from a Class F to a Class E Felony. Governor Carney will be available for media following the bill signing.

Signing of House Bill 174

WHAT: Governor Carney to sign HB 174, strengthening penalties for illegal purchases of firearms

WHO: Governor John Carney
Secretary Robert Coupe, Department of Safety & Homeland Security
Representative Larry Mitchell
Senator Harris McDowell
Senator Anthony Delcollo
Senator Brian Pettyjohn
Representative Ruth Briggs King
Representative Deb Heffernan
Representative Deborah Hudson
Representative Dave Wilson
Col. Nathaniel McQueen, Jr., Superintendent DSP
Sgt. Darren Lester, DSP
Chief William Bryson, Chairman, Delaware Police Chiefs Council
Chief Jeffrey Horvath, Executive Director, Delaware Police Chiefs Council
Chief Laura Giles (Elsmere), Delaware Police Chiefs Council
Chief John Horsman (Capitol), Delaware Police Chiefs Council
Chief Marvin Mailey (Dover), Delaware Police Chiefs Council
Lt. Fred Calhoun, State FOP President
Representatives from Everytown for Gun Safety
Representatives from the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence

WHEN: Wednesday, April 18, 2018
12:45 p.m.

WHERE: Governor’s Office
Legislative Hall
411 Legislative Avenue
Dover, DE 19901

This event will be livestreamed at:

Governor Carney, Senator Townsend, Representative Longhurst Announce Assault Weapons Legislation

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney, Senator Bryan Townsend, and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst on Thursday announced legislation to ban the sale, purchase, transfer, and certain possession of assault-style weapons in Delaware. The legislation will be introduced by Senator Townsend in the Delaware Senate on Thursday. Representative Longhurst is the legislation’s prime sponsor in the Delaware House of Representatives.

The legislation would prohibit the sale and transfer of specific firearms in Delaware, which are listed in the legislation, as well as copycat weapons that meet certain criteria. It also would prohibit the transportation of assault-style weapons across state lines into Delaware, subject to certain exceptions. The bill would not ban possession of any weapons purchased legally before the legislation’s effective date. It would impose certain restrictions on where lawfully owned assault weapons may be possessed and transported. The legislation would allow possession in a lawful owner’s home, their place of business, a shooting range, and during an exhibition, display, or educational exhibit.

Licensed firearms dealers and manufacturers would be permitted to sell or transfer any assault-style weapons in their inventory as of the effective date of the legislation to a licensed firearm dealer in another state or to an individual purchaser in another state through a licensed firearms dealer. Among other individuals and entities, the bill includes exceptions for law enforcement officers, military personnel, and certain testing and repair facilities.

Governor Carney, Senator Townsend, and Representative Longhurst issued the following statements:

“As we have seen in Parkland, Las Vegas and in many other horrific tragedies across our country, military-style weapons can be used to carry out catastrophic acts of violence. These weapons allow those intent on doing harm to outgun members of law enforcement, and they have no place on the streets of our neighborhoods,” said Governor John Carney. “It’s true that we need a national approach to confront the threat of gun violence. I believe President Trump and Congressional leaders should take action. But we cannot wait to do what’s right in Delaware. This is important legislation that will make our state safer – and I urge members of the General Assembly in both parties to act quickly and send this bill to my desk as soon as possible. Thank you to Senator Townsend and Representative Longhurst for their partnership, and their leadership, on this issue.”

“The status quo on gun violence isn’t working. Delaware has made important progress in recent years, but we can — and must — do more,” said Senator Bryan Townsend. “Military-style assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment. They have limited or no practical use for hunting or home defense, yet they are the weapon of choice in mass shootings and pose additional risk to law enforcement. It’s irresponsible to make them available to the general public on-demand. We owe it to our students, our families, and our law enforcement to keep weapons of war where they belong: on the battlefield, not on store shelves.”

“We have an obligation to always look for ways to make our communities safer. Having fewer assault-style weapons on our streets is one way we can accomplish that goal,” said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst. “The rallying cry across the country is being repeated over and over – enough is enough, and more than half of gun owners agree that we need to step up and address these firearms. These firearms are massively deadly weapons and should not be sold any longer.”

Visit to learn more about Governor Carney’s call for comprehensive gun safety reforms.


Statement from Governor Carney on Gun Safety Laws

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor John Carney issued the following statement on gun safety laws:

“Over the past several years, Delaware has made progress in strengthening our gun safety laws, to help give law enforcement the tools they need to more effectively confront gun violence. We’re also continuing to work with school districts to ensure that Delaware schools have up-to-date safety plans, and to provide training so students and educators know how to respond in the face of violence. But more needs to be done.

We are already working with Representative David Bentz to pass the Beau Biden Gun Violence Prevention Act, which will keep weapons out of the hands of those who mental health professionals and judges believe present a danger to themselves or others. I have also urged the General Assembly to pass a bill, introduced by Representative Valerie Longhurst, that would ban bump stock devices.

In the coming weeks, my team will work closely with lawmakers to craft legislation that would prohibit the sale of assault-style rifles in Delaware. As we have seen in Las Vegas, Parkland, and in many other horrific incidents across our country, military-style weapons can be used to carry out catastrophic acts of violence. They have no place on the streets of our neighborhoods.

We need a national approach to this mortal threat to our safety. We stand ready to do our part here in Delaware, and I would urge President Trump and members of Congress to do the same at the national level. It’s past time to take serious action to confront this threat. I look forward to working with lawmakers in both parties here in Delaware to make our state safer.”

Delaware House Passes Bill Requiring Reporting of Lost and Stolen Firearms

Governor thanks lawmakers for providing important law enforcement tool

(Dover, DE) Governor Markell issued the following comment after the passage of Senate Bill 16 in the Delaware House of Representatives:

“Law enforcement tells us straw purchasers have two main excuses when the gun they purchased ends up at a crime scene: ‘I lost that weapon” or ‘That weapon was stolen.’  By requiring individuals to report their gun lost or stolen, this bill helps eliminate those excuses once and for all.  I want to thank Sen. Henry, Rep. Barbieri, and other members of the General Assembly for providing law enforcement with this important tool to reduce straw purchases.”

With the passage of SB 16, Delaware becomes only the 8th state to require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.  (The District of Columbia also requires such reporting, as do numerous cities and towns.) Senate Bill 16 will require gun owners to report the loss or theft of their firearm to police within 7 days of discovering the weapon is missing.  Violators will be subject to a fine of $75-$100 for a first offense and a fine of $100-$250 for a second offense.  A third offense is a class G felony.

The bill is one of the gun safety measures proposed by Gov. Markell, Lt. Gov. Denn and Attorney General Biden in the wake of the Newtown, CT massacre and other recent mass shootings.  The prime sponsors of the bill are Sen. Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) and Rep. Michael Barbieri (D-Newark).

The bill passed the Delaware Senate on May 2, 2013.    The Governor intends to sign the bill in the near future.