The bill honors Keke and her legacy and makes Delaware the first state in the nation to repeal a gun industry special protection law
Washington, D.C, June 30, 2022 - Today, Brady applauds Delaware Governor John Carney for swiftly signing six, common-sense and constitutional gun violence prevention bills into law. This package of policies are transformative and will make Delaware safer for all of its residents. Notably, the signing of Delaware SB 302, the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act, makes Delaware the first state in the nation to repeal a damaging law that gives firearm dealers broad immunity from liability for injuries caused by their actions.
Brady Senior Counsel and Director of State and Federal Policy Tanya Schardt shared:
“The bills that Gov. Carney signed today will transform public safety in Delaware and beyond. These new laws will keep weapons of war off of the streets and stop the conversion of legal handguns into illegal automatic weapons with dangerous auto sears. The enactment of the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act is historic and a watershed moment for gun violence prevention. Brady advocated for KeKe’s family in court, but was stopped by Delaware’s existing gun dealer immunity law. That this act repeals that law is a full circle moment for justice and that Delaware is the first state in the nation to repeal such a law is historic. Brady thanks the many advocates who have pushed for these solutions for many years, the sponsors who championed and steered them through the legislative process, and Gov. Carney for signing them today.”
About the Bills Being Signed Into Law Today:
HB 450, the “Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022,” bans the manufacture, sale, purchase and possession of assault weapons, with some exceptions including for law enforcement.
HB 451 raises the age to purchase most firearms from 18 to 21, with exceptions for active members of the armed forces and law enforcement.
HB 423 reinstitutes the Firearm Transaction Approval Program (FTAP), which will strengthen background checks across the state.
SB 6 limits the sale and possession of large-capacity magazines, which have been common in many high profile mass shootings.
SB 302, named The Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safer Firearms Sales Act, after KeKe Anderson who was killed in 2016 and whose family’s lawsuit, brought by Brady, was ended due to Delaware’s liability shield law. This bill repeals Delaware’s existing liability shield for gun manufacturers and dealers, and creates a predicate exception to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which shields the gun industry from similar lawsuits.
SB 8 bans the use of auto sears, devices that convert handguns into fully automatic weapons.
About SB 302, the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act:
Delaware SB 302, the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act, is named for KeKe Anderson who was killed in 2016 in a shooting involving a gun sold through a straw purchase. Brady represented KeKe’s family in a subsequent lawsuit against the dealer of the firearm involved in her death, but the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Superior Court that granted firearms dealers full immunity from liability based upon a Delaware state law, even if the dealer is negligent in selling a firearm to a straw purchaser. SB 302 repeals the law that ended this lawsuit and stopped KeKe’s family from receiving justice in her name. This bill creates a path for gun industry members, to be treated like every other industry, to be held accountable for dangerous, unlawful, negligent and unsafe business practices that impact Delaware residents and removes barriers that currently prevent victims and survivors–like KeKe and her family–from obtaining justice in the courtroom. It likewise creates a predicate exception to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that has prevented similar suits from moving forward across the nation. The passage of this bill makes Delaware the first state in the country to repeal a gun industry liability shield law, making history and setting an example for the 34 other states in the country with similar state laws that are stopping victims and their families from holding the firearm industry accountable for their role and denying gun violence victims the protections of the civil justice system.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.