House Bill 232
149th General Assembly (2017 - 2018)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 11 AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE LICENSING OF INDIVIDUALS TO CARRY DEADLY WEAPONS CONCEALED.
This Act is designed to centralize and modernize Delaware’s system for licensing its citizens to carry concealed deadly weapons. The current statutory scheme dates as far back as the Code Revision of 1974 and was not designed to handle the volume of applicants and licensees that are being experienced today, a volume that has at times unfairly overwhelmed both the Courts and the Office of the Attorney General. In 2016, alone, the Attorney General was required to conduct 8,522 background investigations, a volume level never envisioned by the General Assembly in 1974, and a volume which, over the years has placed increasingly unsustainable demands upon both the Superior Court and the Attorney General. As importantly, this ever-increasing volume of applicants and license renewals and the system’s inability to respond in a timely manner has led to a volume of complaints from those who have been forced to wait up to eight months for their applications to be fully processed in the current system. This Act is designed to relieve the current pressures on the Superior Court and the Office of the Attorney General by creating a small, centralized, and financially self-sustaining organization within state government designed specifically to administer the licensing of individuals to lawfully carry concealed deadly weapons; and, for the first time, to effectually license and regulate the instructors who provide the statutorily required training for such individuals. Section 1 of the Act creates the Delaware Commission on Concealed Carry Licensing and provides for the professional staff and procedural mechanisms for licensing persons to carry concealed deadly weapons. The Commission is also charged with licensing and regulating the Personal Protection Firearms Instructors who provide the statutorily mandated training for concealed carry licensees. By creating an organization dedicated solely to these tasks, the Act is also (1) able to eliminate the current single date expiration system which is responsible for at least some of the current backlog, and allows for licenses to expire and renewals to be processed on a year-round basis; and (2) ensure that the required training is delivered according to statutory standards by instructors who have qualified to deliver that training. Section 2 of the Act amends the concealed carry statute to transfer responsibility for concealed carry licensing from the Superior Court and the Attorney General to the Commission on Concealed Carry Licensing created in Section 1 of the Act. This section also attempts to enhance language in the existing statute. This section also increases the application fees for concealed carry applicants from $65 to $95 for initial applications and $75 for renewals. The section also establishes a fee of $100 for each issuance of a temporary license. It also allows for the licensing of those residents of contiguous states who regularly work in Delaware and who are already licensed by their home state to be separately licensed in Delaware under the same strict criteria required of Delaware residents, establishing an initial application fee for such individuals of $150 and a renewal fee of $100. Section 2 also addresses the issue of concealed carry reciprocity; clarifying the recognition process and ensuring Delaware residents may not circumvent Delaware’s licensing process by utilizing non-resident licenses from other states with which Delaware has reciprocity. Finally, Section 2 makes a clear statement that currently employed law enforcement officers are exempt from the licensing requirements that pertain to other citizens. Section 2 also extends the period of time retiring law enforcement officers have to avail themselves of the existing streamlined licensing regime available to such officers from 90 days to 180 days. Section 3 of the Act allows for the establishment of the Commission and a period of time for the Commission to be fully staffed and operational before transferring authority and responsibilities from the Courts and the Attorney General to the Commission.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law