The House will be the first chamber to consider the task force's bill redefining the term 'firearm.'

New ‘firearm’ definition bill heads to House 

Jarek RutzGovernment, Headlines

The House will be the first chamber to consider the task force's bill redefining the term 'firearm.'

The House will be the first chamber to consider the task force’s bill redefining the term ‘firearm.’

The Delaware House of Representatives will be the first to take a look at a new bill that will redefine Delaware’s legal description of a firearm.

The Firearm Definition Task Force, responsible for evaluating the state definition and its ramifications in lawmaking and criminal code, had a quick, 10-minute meeting Tuesday to take one last look at their work.

The focus was on confirming additions suggested at last week’s meeting. 

RELATED: Task force redefining ‘firearm’ moves closer to decision

“We have a final draft legislation of redefining firearm in Delaware Code, adding this new definition of projectile weapon,” said task force chair Rep. Jeffrey Spiegelman, R-Clayton.

He thanked the Department of Justice, who worked with the task force to create an appropriate definition. 

Part of the issue with the current definition is it created challenges for lawmakers, especially with the influx of bills relating to guns and weapons. 

Spiegelman has said it can create unintended consequences.

For example, the existing definition includes nail-guns, so technically someone with a former felony conviction would be breaking laws if they used one on a construction job. That’s not the goal of some of the gun laws passed. 

The task force has also added equipment like bow and arrows and spear guns, which have become more popular items of choice for hunting and fishing.

“Projectile weapon” has been added to the definition. 

The bill, redefines “firearm” as any weapon from which a shot, projectile or other object may be,  is designed, or may readily be converted to be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, an explosive, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded. 

It says that a “deadly weapon” includes a firearm, bomb, knife of any sort, a switchblade knife, a billy, a blackjack, a bludgeon, metal knuckles, a slingshot, a razor, a bicycle chain or an ice pick.

“Covert  firearm”  means  any  firearm  that  is  constructed  in a  shape  or  configuration  such  that  it  does  not resemble a firearm.

Here’s the draft bill. It is unclear when it will be introduced to the House because first it will be circulated for sponsors.

20240215 – HB re Firearm Definition Task Force Draft Bill

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