Delaware governor, Jack Markell (D), has signed into law a bill that will require people to report lost or stolen guns to the police within seven days. Individuals who fail to report lost firearms will be subject to fines on the first two offenses, and every offense after that will be a class G felony.
This makes Delaware the eighth state in the nation to require citizens to report gun thefts.
“First and foremost it’ll help our police officers that arrive on a burglary scene or on a case of stolen property," said Lewis Schiliro of the Delaware’s Homeland Security. "They have a right to know that a firearm was involved for their own safety. I think the other thing it would do is help us to identify patterns where people continue to report guns stolen or don’t and help us really identify the straw purchaser.”
The bill’s co-sponsor, State Rep. Michael Barbieri, is optimistic about the new law.
“The argument we keep on getting is that we’re not going to prevent things like Sandy Hook and I don’t think anyone deludes themselves in believing that that’s what we will do, but what we will do is make it easier for law enforcement to take action on inappropriate behavior such as straw purchases,” he said.
Markell has been in a flurry of gun control activity recently. He recently signed into law a bill extending background checks on private gun sales, and he’s also supporting several other bills that will strengthen Delaware gun control policies. These other bills would make it illegal to bring firearms within 1000 feet of schools, restrict high capacity magazines and ban assault rifles.
Overall, this is a grim story for Delaware gun owners. With two of Markell’s gun control laws approved and three more in the works, Delaware could be on its way to becoming one of the strictest gun control states in America.