Gov. John Carney signed legislation April 18 alongside members of the general assembly, law enforcement and gun safety advocates, that strengthens penalties for illegal purchases of firearms, deterring “straw purchases” by making jail time more likely for the offender.

In 2013, Delaware became the eighth state to require that gun owners report lost or stolen weapons to police. Delaware has taken additional steps to confront illegal transfer of weapons. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Harris McDowell and Rep. Larry Mitchell, raises the first offense of purchasing or obtaining a firearm for someone not legally qualified to own, possess or purchase one from a Class F to a Class E felony.

“This legislation takes necessary steps to toughen the penalties for purchasing a gun illegally,” said Carney. “This passed with support from both parties, emphasizing our state’s commitment to confronting the issue of gun violence. I look forward to continuing to work with the general assembly on this issue to make communities across our state safer.”

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