This week's edition of "Traplines on Cypress Creek" discusses the current wording in handgun regulations, and a recent conversation with a local representative about it.


As a resident of our small wonder for pushing 40 years, I should be embarrassed to admit I’d never been inside Legislative Hall. I suppose I would be more so if it weren’t for the dozens of others who’re just as guilty.

Last week, Rep. Donald Blakey, R-Camden, invited me to his office along with Pat Emory of the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Fish and Wildlife section to discuss a petition I’d made concerning wording in our current handgun hunting regulations. After contacting almost a dozen legislators, Mr. Blakey was the only person who bothered to respond positively.

I had to chuckle once inside. For those of you who don’t know, like me, I wondered why Mr. Blakey’s office was “in the basement.” Geez, was he a bad boy?

Nope, just politics. The party in power occupies the penthouse while the minority party gets the outhouse. I also found out it is expedient for one in the minority party who has an idea to insure he has a backer or two in the majority party or the bill could be DOA. Now can you see why politicians are such easy targets? They paint bull’s-eyes on their backs.

After some conversations, Mr. Blakey invited in the legislative attorney Ron Smith to ensure the legalese had all the required information. Mr. Emory was in full agreement and the draft was completed before I left the hall. (Sometimes things work too smoothly, but this one seems to be “in the works” now.)

The changes to hopefully be reflected in the Delaware Code, Title 7, paragraph 7, 704(g)(1) will read: “Any pistol firing a straight wall, PISTOL cartridge in ‘rounds’ from .357 magnum up to and including the 500 magnums, shall be considered legal. Only revolvers and single shot pistols will be allowed. Barrel lengths will not be shorter than 5.75 inches nor longer than 18 inches measured from the frame to the muzzle on revolvers and from the breech exit to the muzzle of single shot pistols.”

I’m sure there are some purists out there who’ll object regardless, but none of them felt it was important enough to pursue. I feel this is one compromise we can all live with. If you disagree, I hope you know how to reach your legislator.

As you know, I’ve been on the local state housing authorities about outlawing firearms in public housing. As you might notice from an article in this paper last week, my opinions aren’t indicative of everyone. I just have to take exception to the comments from the secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Lewis Schiliro, Georgetown Police Chief William Topping and Dover Chief of Police Jeffrey Horvath. Mr. Schiliro’s comments were little short of insulting as his first word entailed that paragon of Second Amendment Rights, the NRA being a “very powerful lobby.” I wonder if he ever bothers to ask why that is? Would you suppose that maybe it’s because their members are ordinary honest Americans who see government trying to steal away Constitutional rights? If you doubt that, read his last chilling comment, “… we are constantly balancing against individual rights; we see that in search and seizure issue.”

Chief Topping’s remarks seem to stem from his officers input to him, but Chief Horvath has yet to prove there was ever a private gun ownership initiative he liked. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police who often are at odds with the NRA and many times, active policemen.

Though both men seemed to go out of their way to paint a picture of heinous actions being commonplace in bars, schools and public housing, they’re quite remiss in the rest of the facts. The majority of these incidents were foisted on honest people who obeyed the law, but were being taken advantage of by people who could care less that their actions were illegal. Knowing, as these two do, that their officers cannot possibly respond in less than 20 minutes 90% of the time, they advocate leaving the honest citizen who might own and keep legal firearms from the ability to protect themselves.

Chief Topping’s comments ring a bit hollow when he states, “From a law enforcement perspective, I think the less guns there are out there, the better off they are.” He never mentioned how much better off you and I might be.