Gun owners in Delaware are now being forced to turn in their “large-capacity” magazines to law enforcement following the passage of the “Delaware Large Capacity Magazine Prohibition Act of 2022” in June of this year.
The new law broadly prohibits the production, sale, purchase, receipt, transfer, and possession of magazines with a capacity of over 17 rounds.
The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) issued guidelines late last month along with dates, locations, and compensation for the mandatory “buyback” program.
The DSHS said that “residents are eligible to receive fair market compensation for” their LCM or large capacity magazine.
Delawareans providing valid identification for proof of residency may receive:
- LCM 18 to 30 Rounds – $15
- LCM 31 or greater round – $25
- LCM Drums – $80
“This buyback program is for Delaware residents only,” states the DSHS. “The program is only intended for individuals and does not apply to wholesale, retail, manufacturers, and distributor business entities. Anonymous relinquishments will be permitted. However, no compensation will be provided.”
Violators face a misdemeanor charge for their first offense and a class E felony for subsequent offenses.
A felony conviction for the possession of an LCM would result in the permanent loss of one’s 2A rights.
There are some key exemptions. Active and retired law enforcement, members of the U.S. military, and licensed concealed carriers are excluded from the ban.
However, while gun-owning Delawareans await the outcome of the lawsuits, state officials are hoping to complete the “buyback” program by June 30, 2023 — the end of the fiscal year, according to WHYY.
Mark Oliva, the managing director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, lamented the present situation in Delaware.
“There was a time when Delaware was respected for standing for freedom and against restricting God-given rights. Now, the state is literally financing magazine seizures with taxpayer funds,” he told GunsAmerica via email.
“The state cannot buy back something it never owned. As a matter of intellectual honesty, state officials should call it what it is. This is a state-sanctioned seizure of magazines done to bolster President Joe Biden’s gun control agenda,” he continued.
Oliva spoke about the legal challenges the magazine ban is currently facing, especially in light of the landmark Bruen decision.
“The audacity of Delaware lawmakers to move forward with this plan is astounding. The U.S.Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of appeals for the Ninth Circuit to revisit its ruling upholding California’s magazine restriction law in light of Bruen,” he said.
“It’s clear that Delaware lawmakers are determined to cause as much damage as possible to the Second Amendment rights of their fellow citizens and it will be the taxpayers that find it and potentially compensate those harmed by this effort,” Oliva concluded.