Speak Up: How would a law requiring a permit to purchase firearms affect Delaware?


Following various attempts over recent years, permit-to-purchase legislation has passed in a Delaware House of Representatives committee. It has met with some opposition from Republicans. How do you feel about this type of firearm regulation? What are the pros and cons of requiring such permits?

  • As a retired police officer from Maryland, the only thing this permit does is to prevent lower-income citizens or people on fixed incomes from buying firearms. This does nothing to lower or prevent criminal behavior in Delaware. All one has to do is to look at the newspaper reports of gun arrests and see how many are released on their own recognizance or via very low bail. To stop gun violence, enforce the current laws. — Henry Beaudet
  • Thankfully, most of these “gun control” laws are being challenged and, ultimately, will see their demise in court, as they are weighed against Bruen. — Jay Lowman
  • A permit to purchase will do nothing to prevent or stop crime. It will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to use their Second Amendment right. The Dems know it and have admitted such. They also admit that safety isn’t their concern and that disarmament of the public is. A permit to purchase is also unconstitutional. A permit isn’t required to exercise a constitutional right. They know it and are on record saying that they do not care. They also don’t care to spend millions of your tax dollars fighting this in court, where they lose the majority of these appeals. The latest article in the paper shows how they lie and cheat the system to get what they want. And, for the anti-gunners out there who root for these laws, it’s only a matter of time till they come after what you like. — Bob Hice
  • Make everyone run out to buy a firearm before the law takes effect. — Eugenia Thornton-Kent County Recorder of Deeds
  • It would only affect law-abiding citizens who don’t need to be regulated. — Bob Skuse
  • It would pose undue burden on the average citizens to exercise their rights to defend themselves against the very criminals this law purports to thwart buying firearms. — Clint Brothers
  • Pros: Overall gun violence goes down on average 25%. Death by suicide decreases on average by 40%. Training about the use, secure storage and Delaware gun laws is a basic need for safe use. If we want people to follow the laws, then training/teaching accomplishes this. States that repeal permit to purchase have seen increased gun violence. — Amy Shipley Yarnall
  • Go up to any street corner in Wilmington and tell the criminal standing there that he or she needs to get training for safe handling and storage. Let me know how you make out. — David Healey II
  • According to statistics gathered where permit-to-purchase laws have been tried, they are linked to significant reductions in gun-related crime. Guns are potentially deadly tools. It is only reasonable that the people who choose to possess them receive training and practice in their use. The central argument against gun safety laws seems to be a mostly party-driven misunderstanding of words some dead guys wrote on parchment centuries ago, even though courts, since the 1930s, have upheld the truth that, like all rights, the Second Amendment is subject to reasonable limitations. Of course, some more recent jurists — jurists chosen explicitly to overturn gun safety laws — have basically moved toward the “any gun for anyone” position. But those of us who actually care about the nearly 50,000 Americans slaughtered by guns each year are eager to embrace evidence-based laws that follow the U.S. Constitution’s call to “promote the general welfare.” And, the evidence shows, permit-to-purchase laws help. — Greg Layton
  • There are studies and statistics out there that prove the opposite. — Bob Hice
  • And you’ve chosen not to share any of them because? I suspect you’re either bluffing or referring to memes and things you half-remember from talk radio. For the record, I was raised with guns, belonged to the National Rifle Association for a while and kept guns in my home until fairly recently. But, after honestly evaluating the evidence from a variety of sources, I decided they do more harm than good. I don’t know you, but I suspect that you, too, were raised with guns and love guns, but — rather than consider the evidence with an open mind — you deliberately seek sources that support your presuppositions. Rather than seek the truth, you seek affirmation. That’s not a great way to approach policy that affects human lives. — Greg Layton
  • I didn’t share because I am here in the morning drinking my coffee and getting ready for the day and didn’t expect to get into a gun debate and have to whip out studies and statistics on demand. But even a reasonable person knows that you can make statistics show whatever you want. — Bob Hice
  • Tie this to the anti-militia attempt now circulating through the federal halls, and one can easily see what is really going on. It is just another attempt to further the left’s gun control agenda. I find it amazing all you libs jump in here about how this helped and that helped, as evidence of your control functions working. Yet, not one of you wants to go back 40 or 50 years, back to when guns were everywhere, even within reach of youngsters, in the back windows of trucks in the school parking lots and in hardware stores across the country. All that, and not nearly the gun-related crime we have today. Is there one of you willing to admit that family control was the best control? Yeah, that family control you libs have been fighting against for these last 40 to 50 years. I knew where every gun in my parents’ home was. My aunt gave me my first rifle when I was 9. I’m still here. All of my family is still here. All of my past neighbors are still here. I never once thought about harming anyone with any weapon. I also knew I would be held accountable for anything I did do. You took that away; now, you want to take everything else away. Explain why, and we can talk. Otherwise, you are just being the same self-serving libidiots I have known for my 75 years. — Dennis Mehrenberg
  • You are utterly wrong. “Guns were everywhere,” and things were fine 50 years ago? I would point you to an examination of the data regarding gun violence. As gun technology advanced, so did the ability to kill as many people as possible in the shortest time, and there were no controls as those firearms entered the civilian population. No one had a problem with a hunting rifle in the back window of a pickup; they had a problem when that firearm was an AR-15-style semi-automatic shooting 40 rounds or more per minute. The release of this firearm into our society changed it and not for the better, yet people continue to protect it, while refusing to acknowledge its role in gun violence. As far as the erosion of family is concerned, all of our society shares that responsibility. Conservative voters currently worship a person who has been divorced and convicted of sexual assault. “Liberals” didn’t take that away; there were plenty of conservative administrations over the last 50 years. I’m glad you have been mentally healthy while you’ve had access to firearms. Many people are not. Don’t you want to help people be safe? Delaware’s laws addressing gun violence are proactive, trying to address gun violence issues that, thankfully, have not yet reached our state in the same numbers we see elsewhere. We are 15 minutes away from a place that doesn’t require gun owners to report lost/stolen firearms. I fully support my state representatives and other Delaware General Assembly members who are committed to mitigating gun violence. — Kate Pearl
  • Thank you for your less-than-knowledgeable comments. Auto-loading and civilian weapons (rifles, shotguns and handguns) have been around for well over a century. I’m not talking one-off, oddball stuff. I am talking about weapons similar to those seen today. I, too, am all behind reducing or even stopping gun violence. However, I am intelligent enough to know that trying to take them away from good people will not help, but rather hinder, the situation. I like the way you bring Donald Trump into the conversation. Libs always do that. “Yeah but Trump!” Just to remind you, since you want to take the high road, John F. Kennedy, a much-worshipped Democrat, had women coming to the White House to see him. Lyndon Johnson had women coming to the White House to see him. Bill Clinton had ... well, we all know about him and Hillary Clinton’s blind obedience. So, climb down off that horse, get real about today’s liberal leniency being everyone’s problem (I don’t recall too many conservatives crying out about corporal punishment and its terrible legacy) and do a little research. Libs backed and still back the idea of not holding people (not just children) accountable. I give you the ever-changing laws that reduce punishment for crimes committed by adults. Those are not conservative ideas or created issues. — Dennis Mehrenberg
  • Right, less than knowledgeable, but you can’t be bothered to actually address the points. I clearly stated that all of our society is responsible for the erosion of family; my point was that it’s silly to say that a person who is twice-divorced and convicted of sexual assault occupies the moral high ground. No one is trying to take firearms away from “good people.” As far as reducing punishment, I point you to former President Trump’s criminal justice reform legislation — you know, a conservative. Remind me who is responsible for “ever-changing laws.” The idea that liberals are responsible for everything that’s bad or wrong is simply ridiculous. — Kate Pearl
  • And I completely disagree with you. Our society was doing just fine until the libidiots decided to tamper with the rearing of children (you are still doing it). We were just fine with parents having control of their households before liberal intervention. Johnson is the clown that started this stuff. What his “Great Society” created is fatherless households, welfare dependence, school interference and a worse class society than this country has ever seen before. Along with that came families without leadership, accountability or acceptance. Oh, and, of course, stupidity like this: “MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry recorded a commercial for the network in which she stated that children do not belong to their parents but are instead the responsibility of the members of their community.” That is the root of all our major problems with our society. Assaults, thefts, cons and gun violence can all be traced back to liberal acceptance, tolerance and their constant attempts to create a communist society. — Dennis Mehrenberg
  • Right, because there haven’t been any conservative administrations since the ’60s. Rearing children? Jeez, how old are you? We’re talking about mitigating gun violence in the state of Delaware. There are many issues with our society, and trying to argue that it’s entirely the fault of liberals is silly. I personally think we’re going through some contortions in an effort to realign our society in a more fair and equitable way. I think we’re making progress, and as we move forward, those who are losing unearned power will fight for the status quo. — Kate Pearl
  • Are you implying each new administration removes or changes the laws created by the previous one? Really? We are going through some contortions. Historically, we are rapidly headed in the wrong direction. The fortunate part is, also historically, the pendulum of change usually swings back the other way, in time to correct the course. I fear that part of history may be lost. However, with some beginning to realize our direction is wrong and changing their affiliations, there is hope. And, because you asked, I’m 75. Old enough to have seen many contortions and know when one is wrong. — Dennis Mehrenberg
  • That explains it. Change is happening, Dennis. I know you are frightened of it. We will not go backward; we will move forward. The only administration that has invested in changing precedent is the Trump administration, and that has turned out to be, unsurprisingly, a huge political mistake. I was talking about societal and cultural changes. — Kate Pearl
  • I hate the idea of permit to purchase. It won’t solve any crime. — David Healey II
  • It will not stop criminals from committing gun crimes. Absolutely a joke. Just another way to take away our Second Amendment rights. — Mark Lucas
  • An armed citizenry is the final check on the abuse of power. If restrictions on weapons are needed to reduce crime, that’s an indictment on society. People who can’t be trusted with guns can’t be trusted to vote. — Charles Miller
  • So, you are suggesting most gun owners not vote? That’s sure an interesting take from someone who is pro-gun but OK. — Bryan Harris
  • Most gun owners aren’t a threat to public safety. If you want to twist my comment that way, you, personally, shouldn’t be allowed to vote. — Charles Miller
  • Charles, they are. You gun nuts are crazy people. And I’m not twisting your comment; I’m using your logic, and most gun nuts can’t be trusted with guns. — Bryan Harris
  • Why should a law-abiding, U.S. citizen need a permit to purchase, other than for a money grab and a form of getting taxes? — Howard Gaines III
  • Cons: There are none. — Bryan Harris
  • I say no to firearm ownership requiring a permit. The Constitution was set up for Americans to be free to bear arms. Making a permit necessary infringes on this right. There will be a cost involved over and above the firearm, ammunition and classes to learn how to shoot. If someone is being stalked, the need for a firearm may be immediate. Nothing with the state or federal government is immediate or fast. Also, do you need a permit to purchase a bow and arrow? No. Do you need a permit to purchase a knife? No. Both are deadly when in the wrong hands. Having a permit system to buy a firearm will not prevent criminals from getting their hands on them. They will steal or do straw purchases of firearms, and I’m sure there are many other ways to get their hands on firearms. People who harm or kill others — whether it is with a firearm, a knife, a bow and arrow, a car, a baseball bat, etc. — need to be arrested, held for trial and, if found guilty, put in prison for a long time. If a person is found to have a mental condition while having a firearm, they need to be hospitalized and treated and not allowed to have a firearm. There are background checks in place that you have to pass before purchasing a firearm that are very detailed and tough to pass if you have a history keeping you from owning a firearm. In several of the recent mass shootings, there have been red flags that this was going to happen. Law enforcement, places of employment and families need to bring this out before they occur. Again, no to permits to purchase firearms.
Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.