Brian Pettyjohn ~ Justice, charges against individuals are dismissed.

Posted on 06-16-2022

As I have done for the past several years, I requested and received updated statistics on the dispositions of firearm charges in Delaware. As the General Assembly is once again considering criminalizing thousands of Delawareans who are owners of certain firearms and components, it is important to look how the State of Delaware is charging and prosecuting individuals who are committing the crimes already on the books. 

As a preface, there are instances that, in the interest of Justice, charges against individuals are dismissed.

As shown in the accompanying report, in 2020, there were 4,057 firearm-related charges issued. At the time that I received the statistics, 561 were still pending. Of the 3,496 that had received some sort of judgement, 2,849 charges were nol-prossed. Simply put, 81% of firearm charges in 2020 were dismissed.

I requested clarification on these numbers. Of the 2,849 charges that were dismissed, 1,349 were dropped as part of a plea bargain. 71 were outright dismissed by the Attorney General.

As I continue to receive these numbers annually, it becomes clearer each year that Delaware does not have a “gun problem.” Rather, we have a lack of accountability problem. Instead of proposing and passing legislation that will do nothing except turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, we need to begin strictly enforcing that laws already in place.

Click here to view the report.

As I continue to receive these numbers annually, it becomes clearer each year that Delaware does not have a “gun problem.” Rather, we have a lack of accountability problem. Instead of proposing and passing legislation that will do nothing except turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, we need to begin strictly enforcing the laws already in place.

**update:  i’ve heard from some of you that you do not understand the abbreviations that are used in the charges. Here is the key:

CCDW: carrying a concealed deadly weapon

PDWDCF: possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony

PFDCF: possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony

NOLP:  nolle prosequi, A legal term which indicates abandonment by the prosecution of the charge

DISM: Charge dismissed

Updated Firearm Charges and Nol-Prossed Numbers

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