Delaware Gov. Signs Gun Seizure Law, Oregon Blocks Gun Ban

Gun control advances in one state and is dealt a solid blow in another.

Carney signed the proposal
Carney signed the proposal into law this week before a crowd of gun control advocates. (Photo: Delaware Governor’s office)photo from guns.com

On June 27, John Carney (D), Governor of the First State, signed legislation authorizing the temporary seizure of firearms from someone thought to be a danger to themselves or others in Delaware.

Called a "red flag" law by supporters, House Substitute 1 for HB 222 permits a family member or law enforcement official to file a "Lethal Violence Protection Order" to temporarily seize guns from an individual thought to be a threat to themselves or others. The legislation passed without an opposing vote on June 19, according to this post on Delaware.gov.

"This new legislation is another tool to help law enforcement and our community confront gun violence," said the Governor in the story, who has signed other gun control bills year. "One piece of legislation alone will not solve the problem of gun violence, but with a comprehensive approach, along with efforts to strengthen security in our schools, we can make a difference."

With the passing of HB 222, a court can file a Lethal Violence Protection Order that is valid for up to a year, though there is a provision permitting the affected party to petition for a hearing to have their firearms returned to them.

Those subjected to such an order can voluntarily turn their firearms over to a gun dealer or law enforcement for safekeeping until the order expires, but the police are authorized to conduct a search and seizure in the event the subject does not comply willingly, says this story from guns.com.

The bill also protects any agency carrying out any such seizure from civil and criminal liability for any damage occurring to any firearms taken, though intentional damage is not covered.

Meanwhile in Oregon, the state’s Supreme Court blocked an initiative that sought to regulate most semi-automatic firearms.

Three religious leaders from the Portland-area backed the proposal, IP 43, and had planned to gain 80,000-plus signatures needed to get the referendum on the ballot over the course of their service this weekend.

In order for that to happen, the Oregon Supreme Court had to certify the language used in the proposal. Because the definitions used were determined to be vague, the court told the proposal's backers' to go back to the drawing board, says this story from guns.com

Kicking the matter back to the Attorney General, the Court's ruling stated "different voters reasonably could draw different meanings from the term 'assault weapons'—some might think that it refers to only military-style weapons; some might think that it refers to the types of weapons that are described in IP 43; and some might think that it refers to an even more broad group of weapons."

Similar dissention was applied to the language defining “large capacity magazines,” with the Court determining that some may consider a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds as large capacity, though many original equipment pistol magazines hold more than 14.

The referendum must have the required 88,184 acceptable signatures by July 6. This is unlikely to occur with no approved language on the ballot yet.