Schwartzkopf bill raises age for all gun purchases to 21

Already have to be 21 to buy handgun in Delaware
March 8, 2018

Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, introduced legislation March 1 raising the age for all Delaware residents to purchase any firearm to 21 years old.

“We already prohibit people under 21 from buying a handgun, and there’s no reason we should treat rifles or shotguns any differently,” said Pete Schwartzkopf in a prepared statement. “We need to learn from every mass shooting. Delaware needs to lead on this issue. We may not be able to stop every mass shooting, but we can try to help minimize the impacts.”

Current state law requires a buyer be at least 21 years old for all handgun purchases, but only 18 years old for long guns (shotguns and rifles). House Bill 330 would increase to 21 the age of a person to whom another person can sell, give, or transfer a firearm or ammunition for a firearm.

Two states, Hawaii and Illinois, already require a person to be 21 to purchase a long gun. All others, follow the federal requirement of 18 years of age.

HB 330 would still allow a parent or guardian to purchase a firearm for their children, and it would not affect current law on possessing a firearm.

HB 330, which has 23 co-sponsors, has been assigned to the House Administration Committee.