Republican bill would allow bail denial for firearm offenses

Sam HautGovernment, Headlines


A Republican has proposed a bill that would deny bail to people convicted of certain gun crimes.
Photo by Elijah O’Donnell, Pexels.

A Republican representative plans to file a bill that would allow bail to be denied to anyone who is carrying a firearm when arrested for committing a felony.

Delaware’s Constitution allows people charged with capital offenses to be held without bail when “proof is positive or the presumption great,” which the bill would expand to include people charged with the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. 

Rep. Danny Short, R-Seaford, said in a release that having a firearm means someone is willing to use violence.

“Anyone who chooses to carry a firearm while committing major criminal acts is demonstrating a calculated willingness to use violence against others,” Short said. “Unlike many of the firearms-related bills introduced in the General Assembly in recent years, this proposal targets the individuals who are actually perpetrating gun crimes.”

Short said he doesn’t expect his bill to be heard this year because this year’s session is almost over. He hopes it will start a discussion to bring the bill up at the beginning of next year’s session.

The release cites a report by the Criminal Justice Council Statistical Analysis Center that says  of the 158 people suspected of being involved with a Delaware shooting in 2020, 149 had an arrest history in Delaware and 115 had been arrested for a violent felony arrest.

Related Story: Legislators called traitors, lawbreakers in gun permit debate

 Of that 115, 49 had been arrested for one or two violent felony arrests, and 66 had been arrested for three or more violent felonies.

Short said he hopes the bill will get bipartisan support.  

“I would expect lawmakers that supported any of the recent gun control measures on the supposition of reducing violence to support this proposal,” Short said. “To vote for the former, without doing the same for the latter, would lack any credibility.”

The legislature this session also is considering a bill requiring a permit to buy a handgun. It was assigned to the House Appropriations Committee May 18. 

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