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Delaware Private Transfer Ban Passes House

NRA is alerting on HB 35, which passed the Delaware House by a 24-17 vote. Again, this bill isn’t just about firearm sale, it stipulates sales or transfers, defined as:

(3) “Transfer” means assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of, but does not include:

(A) the loan of a firearm for any lawful purpose, for a period of 14 days or less, by the owner of said firearm to a person known personally to him or her;

(B) a temporary transfer for any lawful purpose that occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm, provided that such temporary transfer shall not exceed 24 hours in duration;

(C) the transfer of a firearm for repair, service or modification to a licensed gunsmith or other person lawfully engaged in such activities as a regular course of trade or business; or

(D) a transfer that occurs by operation of law or because of the death of a person for whom the prospective transferor is an executor or administrator of an estate or a trustee of a trust created in a will.

Again, if you’re cohabiting with someone, say, in a gay relationship because you can’t get married, if you leave town for three weeks and leave your firearms in the care of your significant other, you’re making an unlawful transfer. Why the need to restrict the duration in section (B) to 24 hours? If I invite someone on my land to shoot, and loan him a gun for the weekend trip, should I be charged with a misdemeanor?

The bill also exempts people who hold Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapons Licenses, but it should be noted that Delaware is technically may-issue (though unlike a lot of other states, it’s not impossible to get a CDWL in Delaware if you jump through the hoops).

Also, this amendment brings up an interesting point on banning private transfers: if you transfer your gun into the dealer’s inventory, and the prospective buyer flunks the check, what then? Are you out the transfer fee to get your own gun back? Delaware’s bill says no, but that’s another nail in the coffin of the proposed federal bill I hadn’t thought of. Currently, the answer would likely be yes, you’d have to pay and go through the 4473 and whole deal to get your own gun back. I think you still would in Delaware too, except the dealer couldn’t charge you for it. This also will make it less likely dealers will want to process third party transfers.

This is what “universal background checks” mean folks. It’s one of those things that sounds dandy until you start thinking about how it would need to be implemented. This bill still has to pass the Delaware Senate, and NRA is asking Delawareans to contact their State Senators.

15 Responses to “Delaware Private Transfer Ban Passes House”

  1. Matthew Carberry says:

    Delaware has reciprocity with Alaska and multiple other states. I can carry my own pistol concealed there but I can’t borrow a shotgun for a 3 day skeet shoot?

  2. Stan says:

    Another thing I can see happening is that a guy tries to sell a shotgun he bought ten years ago, between now and then a law has changed where some minor offense he committed long ago is now grounds for making him a prohibited person.

    Buyer fails background check and cannot buy firearm, but it’s now in the FFL’s inventory so when he goes to transfer it back to the seller he has to file papers and check him too, seller comes up hot and gets arrested and has all his firearms seized and spends 5000 years in federal prison for illegal firearms possession.

  3. Jason Burgess says:

    I’m in the process of getting an FFL. During my interview with the ATF agent, we were discussing how to handle background checks for private tranfers (even though it isn’t required here in Oklahoma).

    If the FFL doesn’t actually take possession of the weapon, meaning the original owner is present the whole time, it never has to go into the FFL’s books at all. It’s optional. The only record that’s required to be kept by the FFL is the 4473.

    If it’s handled that way, there isn’t an issue for the original owner in the case of a denial. However, I imagine there are a lot of FFLs out there who will want to put it in their books to try to cover their asses, or because they aren’t ware that they don’t have to.

    • ursa ele says:

      My local gun dealer that I use for FFL transfers has mentioned on several occasions how she’s had people come in to do a private transfer (required for handguns in PA) and the buyer flunks the 4473 check. Then she has to 4473 it back to the original owner. She did not say if she charges for that, beyond the original fees, but I think she charges both sides of the transfer anyway.

  4. Badbartimus says:

    Don’t be fooled, this is a strategic play to disarm Americans. We will not remain free men if we allow this to continue. The amendment was written to infringe on government, not the people. What’s happening is perverse.

  5. Tam says:

    Boy, that “known personally” provision in Sec (A) is just bad law writing.

    Why the difference between (A) and (B)? When I walk ups and tell you my name and we shake hands, am I not now “known personally” to you, thus making Sec (A) rather than Sec (B) the pertinent section?

    Who writes this stuff?

  6. ursa ele says:

    The other thing is, I never understood PA law, and I don’t understand in this Delaware law either, what exactly is required with inheriting a gun as per directed by a Will? Does the executor just hand the gun to the recipient and say, “here, Uncle Throckmorten wanted you to have this…”? Or, do the executor and the recipient go to an FFL dealer and do a 4473 transfer with PICS and NICS checks? And, what if the recipient is not a resident of PA?

    A related thing I never understood is the father giving the gun to the son, etc that is legal in PA. But does it require a PICS/NICS check if one of them is not a PA resident? Let’s say that the father lives in CT and has a gun. His son lives in PA. The father drives down here with the gun, following all Federal laws regarding the interstate transportation of a gun) and when he gets here, he says to his son, “Here, you can have this.” ? Do they have to do PICS/NICS check if the father is not a PA resident but the gift occurs here???

    • Zermoid says:

      I would like a good answer to that question to, as I have pretty much the same questions…….

      I am getting up in years and am not in the best of health, and I want to know how to be sure my children get my guns when I’m gone.

      What’s the best way to do it legally?

      • Sebastian says:

        This is a tough subject, so I would advise talking with a lawyer first, but my understanding is this:

        Federally, you can transfer across state lines, without going through an FFL, if the firearms were willed to you. So if they were willed to you in another state, the transfer happens under that states laws, and you are legally permitted to bring the firearms back to Pennsylvania.

        Within PA, our law doesn’t exempt bequests, only transfers between spouses, parents and children, and grandparents and grandchildren. So if an Uncle wills a handgun to you, you’d have to formally transfer it from the estate. Long guns you could just inherit.

  7. Eck! says:

    People here seem to forget the basic premise… The stated or unstated goal of the gun control crowd is to ban and confiscate
    firearms.

    Any feature or misfeature that makes owning complicated or allows for a taking of property without effort is not broken in their eyes. Or as computer people call, its not a bug, is feature.

    So any gun control bill is suspect and needs to be analysed
    for the features designed in or incidental to bad law. Further the fudds that look at this and feel it doesn’t affect them because they hunt or shoot clays a little with rifles and shotguns the antis haven’t focused on need to understand they are the more likely ones to run afoul of laws like this.

    eck!

  8. Divemedic says:

    The way that I read this is that so called “gun buy backs” would be illegal.

  9. Archer says:

    Another thing that would now be illegal: you drop a gun needing repairs/service off with a licensed gunsmith … who is not employed as such, and works on guns as a hobby. He/she is licensed, but the work is not a “regular course of trade or business”. Congrats, you’re both now felons.

  10. mike w. says:

    Based on the responses I’ve gotten so far I fear It will pass the Senate. I hope I’m wrong.

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