Pro-gun organizations have asked federal judges to reconsider a lower court’s approval of Delaware’s ban on certain types of guns and related restrictions. The court previously rejected a request to prevent the enforcement of a Delaware law (HB 450) that banned specific semiautomatic weapons and large ammunition magazines. Despite these weapons often being used for self-defense, the judge ruled that the ban was in line with historical restrictions on certain other weapons.
The gun rights groups have appealed to a higher court, arguing that this ban violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, as it prohibits them from owning a category of guns and ammunition.
The Firearms Policy Coalition wrote in their appeal:
“No matter what the State of Delaware thinks, the guns and magazines it banned are protected by the Second Amendment and thus cannot be prohibited. We look forward to the Third Circuit getting right what the district court got wrong when it declined to preliminarily enjoin Delaware’s bans.”
A state-level group affiliated with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other organizations have challenged the ban, stating it illegally criminalizes possession of firearms commonly used for lawful purposes. These claims have been consolidated into the current appeal.
The Delaware Sportsmen’s Association stated:
“These arms are undeniably in common use for lawful purposes by law-abiding persons. There is no historical tradition of banning arms in common use by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.”
The law, signed by Democratic Governor John Carney, not only bans a range of guns but also increases the minimum age for gun purchase, improves background checks, and limits large-capacity magazines. This law was passed by the Democrat-led legislature after several mass shootings.