Twenty U.S. states have joined a legal challenge against Delaware’s gun laws that ban “assault weapons” and standard-capacity magazines. This challenge supports the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association’s lawsuit against the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led the coalition, which includes states like Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and others.
This legal action follows the U.S. District Court Judge Richard Andrews’ refusal in March to issue a preliminary injunction against enforcing HB 450, a part of a six-law gun safety package enacted in Delaware in June 2022. The measures included banning assault weapon sales, increasing the minimum firearm purchase age from 18 to 21, enhancing background checks, limiting high-capacity magazines, holding gun manufacturers and dealers responsible for reckless actions leading to gun violence, and prohibiting the use of devices converting handguns to fully automatic weapons.
The challenging states argue that Delaware’s legislation is unconstitutional, violating the historic tradition of firearms regulation as laid out by the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen v. New York Rifle & Pistol Association ruling. Andrews’ decision has been appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeal, to be reviewed by a three-judge panel.