CHAPTER 332

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 406

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS.

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

Section 1. Amend § 6647, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strike through and insertions as shown by underline as follows and redesignating accordingly:

§ 6647 Membership requirements for volunteer firefighters.

(a) An applicant for membership in a Delaware volunteer fire department who has been convicted of or, had that applicant been charged as a juvenile, adjudicated delinquent of any of the following crimes is prohibited from serving as a firefighter in this State:

(1) A felony involving sexual misconduct where the victim's failure to affirmatively consent is an element of the crime, such as forcible rape;

(2) A felony involving the sexual or physical abuse of a child or of a person who is elderly or impaired, such as sexual misconduct with a child, sexual exploitation of a child, making or distributing child pornography, incest involving a child, or assault on a person who is elderly or impaired;

(3) A crime in which the victim is an out-of-hospital patient or a patient or resident of a healthcare facility, including abuse, neglect, or theft from or financial exploitation of a person entrusted to the care or protection of the applicant;

(4) Arson in the third, second, or first degree; reckless burning or exploding; cross or religious symbol burning; or any crime in which the applicant intentionally or recklessly started a fire or caused an explosion, or attempted or conspired to do so;

(5) A law of another state, territory, or jurisdiction which is the same or equivalent to the offenses described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section.

(b) Membership in a Delaware volunteer fire department must be denied if the applicant has been convicted or, if that applicant was charged as a juvenile, has been adjudicated delinquent of any of the following crimes, except in extraordinary circumstances:

(1) Any crime for which the applicant is currently incarcerated, on work release, on probation, or on parole;

(2) Any crime in the following categories, unless at least 5 years have passed since the applicant's conviction or at least 5 years have passed since the applicant was released from custodial confinement, whichever occurs later:

a. A serious crime of violence against a person, such as assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault, murder or attempted murder, manslaughter (other than involuntary manslaughter), kidnapping, or robbery of any degree;

b. A crime involving a controlled substance or designer drug, including unlawful possession or distribution of, or intent to unlawfully possess or distribute, a controlled substance in Schedules I through V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of Chapter 47 of this title;

c. A serious crime involving property, such as burglary, embezzlement, or insurance fraud;

d. Any crime involving sexual misconduct;

e. A crime of another state, territory, or jurisdiction which is the same or equivalent to the offenses described in paragraphs (b)(2)a. through d. of this section.

(3) In extraordinary circumstances, membership may be granted under subsection (b) of this section only if the applicant establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant's membership will not jeopardize public health or safety.

(c)  No applicant for membership in a Delaware volunteer fire department shall be charged any fee or cost for obtaining criminal history information from the State Bureau of Identification for the application.

(c)(d) An applicant for membership in a Delaware volunteer fire department who knowingly provides false, incomplete, or inaccurate criminal history information, or who otherwise knowingly violates a provision of this subchapter, is guilty of a class G felony. In addition to a term of imprisonment of up to 2 years, the court shall impose a fine of no less than $1,000 which may not be suspended.

Section 2. This Act shall take effect 90 days after its enactment.

Approved July 22, 2016