CHAPTER 20

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 35

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5,

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 6 AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2 TO HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 6

& HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 6,

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 7 AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 7

AND HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 8, 9 & 10

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 AND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECKS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SALE OR TRANSFER OF FIREARMS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 5, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

§ 1448B. Criminal history record checks for sales of firearms – unlicensed persons.

(a) No unlicensed person shall sell or transfer any firearm, as defined in § 222 of this title, to any other unlicensed person without having conducted a criminal history background check through a licensed firearms dealer in accordance with § 1448A of this title and 24 Del.C. § 904A, as the same may be amended from time to time, to determine whether the sale or transfer would be in violation of federal or state law.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Unlicensed person" means any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed dealer.

(2) "Licensed dealer" means any person licensed as a deadly weapons dealer pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 24 and 18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq.

(3) "Transfer" means assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of, but does not include: (A) the loan of a firearm for any lawful purpose, for a period of 14 days or less, by the owner of said firearm to a person known personally to him or her; (B) a temporary transfer for any lawful purpose that occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm, provided that such temporary transfer shall not exceed 24 hours in duration; (C) the transfer of a firearm for repair, service or modification to a licensed gunsmith or other person lawfully engaged in such activities as a regular course of trade or business; or (D) a transfer that occurs by operation of law or because of the death of a person for whom the prospective transferor is an executor or administrator of an estate or a trustee of a trust created in a will.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

(1) Transactions in which the potential purchaser or transferee is a parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, stepparent, legal guardian, grandparent, child, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, stepchild, grandchild, sibling, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, spouse, or civil union partner of the seller or transferor;

(2) Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898;

(3) Any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section if such replica:

a. Is not designed or redesigned to use rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition; or

b. Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade;

(4) Any muzzle loading firearm designed for hunting or competitive shooting not requiring a criminal background check pursuant to federal law;

(5) Transactions in which the potential purchaser or transferee is a qualified active duty law-enforcement officer or a qualified retired law-enforcement officer, as such terms are defined in 11 Del.C. §1441A;

(6) Transactions in which the potential purchaser or transferee holds a current and valid concealed carry permit issued by the Superior Court of the State of Delaware pursuant to §1441 of this title.

(7) Transactions in which the prospective buyer or transferee is a bona fide member or adherent of an organized church or religious group, the tenets of which prohibit photographic identification; provided, however, that no unlicensed person shall sell or transfer any firearm to any such person without having conducted a criminal history background check in accordance with paragraph (f) hereunder to determine whether the sale or transfer would be in violation of federal or state law;

(8) Transactions involving the sale or transfer of a curio or relic to a licensed collector, as such terms are defined in 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, as the same may be amended from time to time;

(9) Transactions involving the sale or transfer of a firearm to an authorized representative of the State or any subdivision thereof as part of an authorized voluntary gun buyback program.

(d) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, no fee for a criminal history background check may be charged for the return of a firearm to its owner that has been repaired, serviced or modified by a licensed gunsmith or other person lawfully engaged in such activities as a regular course of trade or business.

(e) Any person who knowingly sells or transfers a firearm in violation of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Any subsequent offense shall be a class G felony. The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction for all offenses under this section.

(f) The State Bureau of Investigation (the "Bureau") shall facilitate the sale or transfer of any firearm in which the prospective buyer is a bona fide member or adherent of an organized church or religious group, the tenets of which prohibit photographic identification, pursuant to the following procedure. For purposes of this paragraph, the terms "prospective buyer" and "prospective seller" shall include prospective transferors and prospective transferees, respectively.

(1) The prospective buyer and seller shall jointly appear at the State Bureau of Investigation during regular hours of business, and shall inform the Bureau of their desire to avail themselves of the procedure set forth herein. The actual cost of the criminal history background check shall be paid by either the prospective buyer or prospective seller.

(2) The prospective buyer shall be required to submit fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain a report of the individual’s entire criminal history record pursuant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation appropriation of Title II of Public Law 92-544 [28 U.S.C. § 534]. In addition, the prospective buyer shall submit to the Bureau a signed affidavit stating that photographic identification conflicts with the tenets of an organized church or religious group of which the prospective buyer is a bona fide member.

(3) In the event that said background check reveals that the prospective buyer is prohibited from possessing, purchasing or owning a firearm, the Bureau shall so inform both parties of that fact and the transfer shall not take place.

(4) The Bureau shall maintain a record of all background checks under this subsection to the same extent as is required of licensed dealers pursuant to Title 24, chapter 9 of this Code.

(5) The Bureau is hereby authorized to promulgate such reasonable forms and regulations as may be necessary or desirable to effectuate the provisions of this paragraph.

Section 2. Amend § 1448A(b), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(b) Any person who is denied the right to receive or purchase a firearm in connection with subsection (a) of this section or subsection (a) of § 1448B of this title may request from the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") a written explanation for such denial; an appeal of the denial based on the accuracy of the record upon which the denial is based; and/or that erroneous information on the NICS system be corrected and that the person’s rights to possess a firearm be restored. All requests pursuant to this subsection (b) shall be made in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations, including without limitation 28 C.F.R. § 25.10. In connection herewith, at the request of a denied person, the Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer and SBI shall provide to the denied person such information as may be required by federal law or regulation in order for such person to appeal or seek additional information hereunder.

Section 3. Amend § 1448A(c), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(c) Compliance with the provisions of this section shall be a complete defense to any claim or cause of action under the laws of this State for liability for damages arising from the importation or manufacture, or the subsequent sale or transfer to any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year, of any firearm which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. In addition, compliance with the provisions of this section or § 1448B of this title, as the case may be, shall be a complete defense to any claim or cause of action under the laws of this State for liability for damages allegedly arising from the actions of the transferee subsequent to the date of said compliance wherein the claim for damages is factually connected to said compliant transfer.

Section 4. Amend § 1448A(e), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(e) Any licensed dealer, licensed manufacturer, licensed importer or employee thereof who willfully and intentionally requests a criminal history record check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System for any purpose other than compliance with subsection (a) of this section or subsection (a) of § 1448B of this title, or willfully and intentionally disseminates any criminal history record information to any person other than the subject of such information or discloses to any person the unique identification number shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. The Superior Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction for all offenses under § 1448A(e) of this title.

Section 5. Amend § 1448A(f), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(f) Any person who, in connection with the purchase, transfer, or attempted purchase or transfer of a firearm pursuant to subsection (a) of this section or subsection (a) of § 1448B of this title, willfully and intentionally makes any materially false oral or written statement or willfully and intentionally furnishes or exhibits any false identification intended or likely to deceive the licensee shall be guilty of a class G felony.

Section 6. Amend § 1448A(h), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(h) The SBI shall provide to the judiciary committees of the Senate and House of Representatives an annual report including the number of inquiries made pursuant to this section and § 1448B of this title for the prior calendar year. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, the number of inquiries received from licensees, the number of inquiries resulting in a determination that the potential buyer or transferee was prohibited from receipt or possession of a firearm pursuant to § 1448 and § 1448B of this title or federal law.

Section 7. Amend § 1448A(i), Title 11 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(i) Notwithstanding Chapter 89 of this title, Chapter 10 of Title 24, and other Delaware laws, the SBI is authorized and directed to release records and data required by this section and by § 1448B of this title. The SBI shall not release or disclose criminal records or data except as specified in this section and in § 1448B of this title.

(j) No records, data, information or reports containing the name, address, date of birth or other identifying data of either the transferor or transferee or which contain the make, model, caliber, serial number or other identifying data of any firearm which are required, authorized or maintained pursuant to this section, §1448B of this title or by Chapter 9 of Title 24 of this Code, shall be subject to disclosure or release pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 29 Del.C. § 10001 et seq.

Section 8. Amend § 904, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(a) Any person desiring to engage in the business described in this chapter shall keep and maintain in the place of business at all times a record in accordance with this section and all applicable federal laws and regulations (including, without limitation, 18 U.S.C. §§ 921 et seq. and 27 C.F.R. §§ 478.121 et seq.). In such record the businessperson shall enter the date of the sale, the name and address of the person purchasing any deadly weapon, the number and kind of deadly weapon so purchased, the age of the purchaser, and the mode of identification bearing a picture (except as provided in 11 Del.C. §1448B(f)) which shall include but it is not limited to a driver's license, and any other information as shall be required by federal law and regulation. The record shall at all times be open for inspection by any judge, justice of the peace, police officer, constable or other peace officer of this State.

Section 8A. Amend § 904, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by inserting a new subsection (c) as shown by underlining as follows:

(c) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, any inspection by a judge, justice of the peace, police officer, constable, or other peace officer of this State shall be reasonable under the circumstances existing at the time and shall only be made pursuant to and in furtherance of an open criminal investigation or during the course of a criminal prosecution.

Section 9. Amend § 904A, Title 24 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underlining and deletions as shown by strike through as follows:

(b) As a condition of its license, any dealer holding a license pursuant to this chapter shall facilitate the transfer of a firearm, as that term is defined in § 222 of Title 11, from any unlicensed person who is not so licensed as that term is defined in § 1448B of Title 11, upon the request of said unlicensed seller person, pursuant to the following procedure:

(1) The prospective buyer and seller shall jointly appear at the place of business of the dealer, during said dealer's regular hours of business, and shall inform the dealer of their desire to avail themselves of the advantages of the procedure set forth herein.

(2) The dealer shall then subject the prospective buyer to a criminal history record background check pursuant to the terms of § 1448A of Title 11.

(3) In the event that said record check reveals that the prospective buyer is prohibited from possessing, purchasing or owning a firearm pursuant to § 1448 of Title 11, the dealer shall so inform both parties of that fact and the transfer shall not take place.

(4) The dealer shall maintain a record of all criminal history background checks under this section in accordance with § 904 of this chapter.

(4) (5) Any dealer who is asked to facilitate the transfer of a firearm pursuant to the terms of this section, may charge a reasonable fee for said service, said fee not to exceed $20 $30 per criminal history check performed pursuant to this procedure. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no fee may be charged for the return of a firearm to its owner in the event that the proposed transaction may not be immediately and legally completed as the result, or lack thereof, of a criminal history background check hereunder.

(5) (6) Failure or refusal on the part of the dealer to facilitate the transfer of a firearm pursuant to the procedures set forth herein shall be adequate cause to suspend the license of said dealer for a period not to exceed 30 days per occurrence.

(d) Nothing in this section, or any other section of the Code, shall authorize or permit the State of Delaware or any agency, department or instrumentality thereof to establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions or dispositions, except with respect to persons prohibited from receiving a firearm as set forth in chapter 5 of Title 11. Any such system of registration is expressly prohibited.

(7) Subject to subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked until a license holder has been given notice, and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act [Chapter 101 of Title 29].

Section 10. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application; and, to that end, the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

Section 11. This Act shall have an effective date of July 1, 2013.

Approved May 08, 2013