Delaware: Handgun Hunting Legislation Passes House

By Brett Stayton, Mid-Atlantic States Coordinator

On June 19, Delaware HB 156 passed out of the House of Representatives with bipartisan support from Delaware Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus members, including all four Co-Chairs. 

If enacted, this legislation would greatly expand the range of pistol calibers authorized for hunting deer during the state’s shotgun season with the intention of improving the efficacy with which the states deer herds can be managed to reduce crop damage while maintaining public safety. The bill would also authorize the use of pistol caliber rifles, which would further extend the options Delaware hunters have for harvesting deer.

Additionally, the bill would also establish a new seven-day deer season beginning on the first Saturday in January under the condition that hunters use only handguns or pistol caliber rifles.

Should this bill be enacted into law, all prospective hunters in the state should check the state to verify that their handgun or pistol caliber rifle is in compliance with state law prior to going afield.   

"I am pleased that HB 156 passed overwhelmingly in the House. I hope the bill receives the same treatment in the Senate as soon as possible and is sent to the Governor for his signature,” said bill sponsor and Caucus Co-Chair Representative Jeff Spiegleman. “It's time Delawareans have access to more hunting opportunities and hunting experiences.”

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A key component of the American System of Conservation Funding, the Pittman- Robertson Act directs excise taxes on firearms, ammo, and archery equipment to wildlife conservation. Since its inception in 1937 the Act has generated more than $12 billion towards conservation. However, there has been a loss of 5 million hunters in the past decade. One proposed solution to help fund conservation is to dedicate lottery proceeds for conservation purposes. Would you support this effort in your state?

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