Exactly one week after it was signed into law, Delaware’s new “ghost gun” ban is already facing a legal challenge.
The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) filed suit against Delaware Governor John Carney (D.) on Wednesday over the recently signed House Bill 125. The group alleges that the new law violates multiple Constitutional rights.
“Delaware’s Bans are nothing less than a broad and unconstitutional attack on protected conduct, instruments, and speech, in direct violation of the fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms, to just compensation for the taking of property, and to the fundamental right to free speech,” the complaint said.
Like most other “ghost gun” bans enacted in recent months, Delaware’s House Bill 125 prohibits the possession or sale of any unfinished frame, receiver, or complete firearm without a serial number. However, Delaware’s law goes even further than most in that it makes the sharing of instructions or code that may be used to produce a firearm from a 3D printer a felony offense.
“If anyone dares to share the information deemed illicit, Defendants’ enforcement of HB 125 threatens them with serious criminal penalties, including incarceration and the lifetime loss of Second Amendment rights,” the complaint said.
Adam Kraut, FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations, slammed the Delaware law as unconstitutional.
“The basic right of individuals to self-manufacture arms for self-defense, along with the possession of the parts and information necessary to exercise that right, is protected by the Constitution, period,” Kraut said in a press release. “Delaware’s new laws make exercising these rights a crime, which is unconstitutional and something we cannot allow to go unchallenged.”
The bill was signed into law last week by Carney alongside another gun control bill, House Bill 124, which prohibits individuals subject to domestic violence orders from purchasing a gun. Carney credited the gun control organization Moms Demand Action for helping to get the bills passed.
“Two gun bills that are the result of a lot of outreach and work by the moms standing with the red shirts behind me,” Carney said. “Put your hands together for the moms. Nobody gets in the way of the moms, that’s for sure.”
The gun-control group cheered the Governor’s decision to sign the two bills.
“Protecting survivors of domestic abuse and keeping untraceable firearms out of Delaware communities are common sense gun safety measures that will save lives,” Mara Gorman, a Moms Demand Action volunteer, said in a press release.
But for Kraut and the Firearms Policy Coalition, the bill represents an affront to individual liberty.
“FPC believes that protecting the right to self-manufacture firearms and share information about how to do that is necessary to the preservation of individual liberty,” he said.
Governor Carney’s office did not respond to a request for comment.