Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Lt. Gov. Matt Denn and Attorney General Beau Biden on Wednesday unveiled new legislation that would require gun owners to alert police if their firearms become lost or are stolen.
Gov. Markell's office says the bill is one of five pieces of legislation proposed by the governor and attorney general in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.
"If we're serious about keeping guns out of the wrong hands, we need to do a better job of accounting for these weapons," Gov. Markell said in a statement. "Reporting a lost or stolen weapon is easy, it's responsible and it makes our streets safer."
According to Markell's office, the legislation would require gun owners to report their lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours, which would not start until the moment a gun owner discovers they are missing a firearm.
The legislation would penalize violators with a fine for a first offense and up to a class G felony for a second and subsequent offenses.
Biden calls the bill a "common sense proposal" that would help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
"All too often prosecutors in my office are confronted with defendants who claim their weapon was lost or stolen, when it reality that gun was purchased and then immediately handed over to a criminal who is not legally allowed to have a gun," Biden said in a statement.
Biden said under the proposed bill, law enforcement would know about the lost or stolen firearm immediately.
The bill is also sponsored by several state lawmakers, the governor's office said.
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