An 18-year-old man, allied with a local gun club and state 2A group, has filed a lawsuit against one of Delaware's restrictive new gun bans. 

The 160-page lawsuit, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by Gavin Birney, who is a member of the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club and the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, which are also listed as co-plaintiffs, targets House Bill 451 that was signed into law by Delaware Gov. John Carney in June. Under the new law, adults under the age of 21 are largely barred from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a firearm or ammunition.

While there are some carve-outs – for example for those on active military service, police officers, temporary use by hunters supervised by persons over 21, or for shotguns and shotgun shells – the bottom line is that the right to keep and bear arms for adults aged 18 through 20 in the state is only thinly recognized under HB 451. 

The suit points to the new restriction as a violation of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Delaware Bill of Rights, the latter of which states that "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreation." With a host of state officials named as defendants, the suit seeks relief from the court and orders overturning enforcement of the law. 

"DSSA has been protecting and defending the rights of Delaware’s hunters, sportsmen and women, and law-abiding gun owners since 1968," said DSSA President Jeffrey W. Hague in a statement. "This is not the first time we have challenged unconstitutional and illegal actions of government officials in court, and it will not be the last. We promised our members and the people of Delaware that if HB 451 ever became law we would challenge that law in court and today we kept that promise."

Banner image: SIG Cross bolt-action rifle. (Photo: Chris Eger/

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