Permit to Buy

The Delaware legislature is trying again to infringe on American citizens’ right to keep and bear Arms; the Know Betters of the legislature are renewing their drive to require the State’s citizens—who, for those Progressive-Democrats not keeping up at home, also are American citizens—to get the State’s permission just to buy a firearm.

A proposal filed Wednesday in the state Senate would require prospective handgun owners to complete a state-authorized firearms training course and submit an application that would include fingerprinting and an extensive background check. If approved, Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security would issue a free 180-day permit.

A permit just to buy. The duration of this…requirement…is laid out in the proposed bill:

A handgun qualified purchaser permit is valid for a period of 180 days from the date of issuance….

I have no conceptual objection to requiring training on the firearm, so long as neither the training itself nor the cost of it, are constructed as barriers to the getting and subsequent keeping and bearing, and so long as any license (not permit to buy) is issued on a will-issue basis.

I do object to fingerprinting the prospective firearm keeper and bearer of his weapon. No government has any business keeping track of which of its citizens have weapons and which of them do not. That’s a need only with regard to criminals, and acquiring a firearm is not, by definition, a criminal act.

But beyond that, these worthies are carefully ignoring the key phrase in our Constitution’s 2nd Amendment [emphasis added]:

…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Plainly, getting Arms, including the purchase of one or more of them, is a necessary precondition to the keeping and bearing of them. Restrictions on buying a firearm—which is what a State-granted permission slip, of any duration, is—is just that infringement. No permit to buy, no matter its construction, is legitimate; such permission slips start out unconstitutional and they are incurably so throughout their existence.


The bill on offer can be read here.

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