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Amendment to bill banning assault style weapons allows exemptions

Sarah Mueller
Last month's gun rally at Legislative Hall

An amendment to legislation banning assault style weapons could affect its prospects of passing this session.

State Sen. Trey Paradee’s amendment would allow possession, purchase and transfer of assault style weapons by people at least 21 years old on or before June 30th and allowed to have a firearm. It also exempts people who have a concealed weapons license. Those who are under 21 years old can own an assault style weapon if they take a safety course.

Paradee (D-Dover) said he believes this is a more measured approach to the issue.

“I just think it’s wrong to deprive people of lawfully acquired property and to devalue their lawfully acquired property," he said. "But at the same time, I am concerned about safety and I am very much concerned about these weapons falling into the wrong hands.”

The bill’s sponsor - Senate Majority Whip Bryan Townsend (D-Newark) - opposes the amendment, arguing it guts his bill.

Townsend said these types of weapons should not be publicly available and most Delawareans support his position.

His bill, along with legislation banning high capacity magazines and creating a permit to purchase firearm system will be heard in a Senate committee Wednesday.

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