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News & Updates

Friday, March 11, 2022

Email a Republican Representative

Yesterday evening, following the vote on HB305 to legalize cannabis in Delaware which failed to pass the House by two votes, the State Chair of the LPD spoke for several minutes to a Republican Representative, who had joined every other member of the Republican Caucus in refusing to vote for HB305, about how that vote and the vote of every other Republican in the Delaware House was a vote in favor of gun control.
It turns out that politicians do not always know the laws they write very well.  Of course the laws of the State of Delaware are voluminous, and no one could be expected to remember them all, but it does seem prudent to study up on a Bill and the Statutes it modifies before the vote rather than after it.

In any case, below is the email that was sent to summarize the connection between the Delaware House Republicans' refusal to support cannabis legalization and their support for gun control.

Thank you for taking the time to discuss Delaware's gun laws with me yesterday.

As we discussed, cannabis prohibition, especially in the way that HB305 repeals it, is a large and real gun control threat that is actively and presently imposing the very nightmare scenario many gun rights supporters believe lies at the bottom of the slippery slope for every piecemeal new infringement.  Police in Delaware are seizing guns from peaceful citizens.

The place to start is in  11 Del. C. § 1448(c) where the crime of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited is defined as a Class F felony, and then in § 1448(a)(1) where anyone convicted of any felony is automatically a person prohibited.  Where we get into this mess is in 11 Del. C. § 1448(a)(9).  In this paragraph, it makes you a person prohibited if you are in violation of 16 Del. C. § 4763 or, crucially, § 4764This provision specifically relates to the possession of "marijuana", even when it is in a small enough quantity to only be a civil violation without the constructive possession of a firearm.

However in Section 2 of HB305, these provisions are modified.  The modifications would remove possession of personal use quantities of cannabis and the private use of cannabis from the list of elements that would satisfy a charge under § 4764.  It does not remove the section entirely and still allows for non-personal use quantities to be a qualifying offense to be ensnared in person prohibited laws.  As I mentioned to you yesterday, HB276 would address this problem for medical patients by adding specific exemptions to the Title 11 language, but that will not affect the rest of the population.

So as I said to you yesterday, by voting against HB305, the entire House Republican Caucus has just voted to retain a draconian gun control restriction that the Democrats were offering to repeal.  You voted for gun control.

Will McVay,
State Chair,

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