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Amended high-capacity magazine bill clears House

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media

House lawmakers pass an amended bill to ban large-capacity gun magazines.


The bill was amended to change the definition of large-capacity magazines to 20 for a handgun and 30 for a long gun.

It also creates new crimes connected to the magazines.

Possessing a large-capacity magazine during a felony comes with a penalty of  2-to-25 years in jail.

House Sponsor State Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuochoa (D-Wilmington) makes it clear his amendment is targeting criminals.

"What we were trying to do with this piece of legislation is to clearly define who we're targeting," said Chukwuochoa. "We're targeting individuals who are committing crimes with these magazines, not lawful individuals who are utilizing these capacity magazines for recreational use, going to the range shooting at targets that's not the intent that was never our intent."

Chukwuochoa says the revised legislation also allows current large-capacity magazine owners to keep them, but not sell them.

"For individuals who are currently in possession of a high capacity magazine, one of the aftermarkets, they will be grandfathered in," said Chukwuochoa. "They can have those.  You can't sell it, you can't give it to anyone, you can't transfer it, and you're still allowed to use it lawfully. If you go to the range you can use it lawfully. The crime again is that if you try to sell it or someone receives it then that would be a class E felony."

The proposed mandatory relinquishment and buyback program is also now gone.

The bill passed the House 24-16 with a mix of Democrats and Republican opposing it.

Since it was amended, the measure returns to the Senate for a vote on the revised version. 

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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