Yesterday afternoon, I get this press release from them: DOVER – After months of meetings and hours of public testimony, House Democratic leaders announced several amendments Tuesday that they will add to legislation requiring background checks for virtually all gun sales. The amendments to House Bill 35 are a direct result of lead sponsor House Majority Leader Rep. Valerie Longhurst meeting with officials from the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, the National Rifle Association’s local affiliate, numerous phone calls and e-mails from constituents and from nearly three hours of public testimony in which 75 residents and advocates spoke about the measure. “There is a belief that we are not speaking to or listening to the concerns that gun owners have. That is absolutely not the case,” said Rep. Longhurst, D-Bear. “We have met with the NRA multiple times. They raised several concerns and brought several amendments, and we are incorporating some into the legislation. “We also heard several legitimate concerns from residents during last week’s hearing, specifically about selling to licensed collectors and prohibiting the state from registering firearms, and we drafted additional amendments based on that testimony. That is what the public process does – it allows residents to voice their support and concerns about legislation, and we ultimately can craft a stronger bill that is fair to all Delawareans.” HB 35 would require that a background check be performed in connection with the sale or transfer of any firearm, regardless of whether the transaction involves a licensed dealer. Supporters are incorporating several suggestions offered by the NRA and through public testimony into HB 35, including: Explicitly providing that the state shall not establish a system of firearm registration; Exempting from the background check requirement persons who have a valid concealed carry permit; Reducing the maximum fee a dealer can charge for a background check from $50 to $30; Providing that transfer records cannot be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act; Defining “transfer” to clarify that handing over a firearm for repair, certain short-term loans and transfers upon death of the owner are not transfers requiring background checks; Prohibiting fees when a repaired firearm is returned to its owner, or to return a firearm to its owner when a person fails a background check during a private sale; Allowing persons with “bona fide” religious objections to photo IDs to undergo fingerprint background checks through the State Bureau of Identification, addressing concerns voiced by the Amish community; Exempting sales of curios and relics to licensed collectors, which was a concern raised during last week’s hearing; Providing due process for firearms dealers. “This shows that we have listened to the NRA’s and gun-rights advocates’ concerns, and where there is agreement, we are making those changes,” Rep. Longhurst said. “The question now is whether the NRA will join us in supporting this common-sense measure to help keep firearms out the hands of people who should not have them, or if they will simply stand in the way of taking reasonable action.” HB 35 is scheduled for a floor vote in the House on Thursday. The amendments are expected to be filed by Wednesday to allow the public time to review them. Of course, the answer is that, no, the “the NRA will (not) join us in supporting this common-sense measure to help keep firearms out the hands of people who should not have them.” It will pass anyway, but with the unnecessary emasculations frittered away by the side with the votes. Memo to Rep. Longhurst and friends, this is not me talking, this is the direct quote from Wayne LaPierre of the NRA: “We must declare that there are no shades of gray in American freedom. It’s black and white, all or nothing.” The NRA knows their enemy. The House Democratic Caucus apparently doesn’t. Jeez, shades of Harry Bleepin’ Reid.
Delaware Liberal reports on this great victory for the citizens and common sense. Of course they are in shock that instead of blindly grabbing power, that some in the Majority would actually listen to the legitimate complaints and concerns of citizens. I still am sadden that military people do not have the same status as concealed carry and law enforcement even though they may go through a more thorough background check for clearances. This is a huge stride in the right direction.