House Bill 201
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO POSSESSION OF A FIREARM IN A SAFE SCHOOL AND RECREATION ZONE.
As of April 4, 2023, 74 people have been killed or injured by guns in schools this year in 13 separate school shootings. School shootings hit a record high in 2022 with 46 shootings, surpassing 2021’s record of 42 shootings. In 2022, 43,450 children experienced a school shooting. The purpose of this bill is to enable a police officer to act immediately when the officer sees or suspects that a person possesses a firearm in a Safe School and Recreation Zone. This Act establishes the crime of Possession of a firearm in a Safe School and Recreation Zone as a class E felony. This bill makes it a crime for a person to possess a firearm in a Safe School and Recreation Zone except a police officer or a constable or active-duty member of the armed forces who are acting in an official capacity within for the Safe School and Recreation Zone. The bill also exempts holders of a valid license to carry concealed weapons but only if the firearm is in a vehicle. The possession of a firearm under this bill does not apply if (1) the person is on private property which is not part of school grounds; (2) the firearm is in a locked container or locked firearms rack that is on or in a motor vehicle; or (3) when engaged in lawful hunting, firearms instruction, or firearm-related sports on public lands not belonging to a school. This bill provides that in addition to other penalties, a student who possesses a firearm in a Safe School and Recreation Zone, shall be expelled for a period of not less than 90 days, but the local school board or charter school board of directors may, on a case-by-case basis, modify the terms of the expulsion. This Act repeals the crime of Possession of a Weapon in a Safe School and Recreation Zone, but provides a Savings Clause which enables a prosecution for such crime if the offense occurred before the repeal is enacted.