NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE STATE SPORTSMEN’S ASSOCIATION (DSSA):
COURT RULES SEMI-AUTO PISTOL CALIBER RIFLES OF ALL KINDS LEGAL
On Wednesday, November 17, 2020, Delaware Superior Court Judge Noel Eason Primos handed down a decision in a case filed by the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association (DSSA), the Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club, and two individual members against the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). The lawsuit contested DNREC’s ban on the use of semi-automatic rifles, as well as any rifle not using ammunition meant specifically for existing pistols, for hunting deer.
An earlier law passed by the General Assembly had allowed the use of pistol-caliber rifles, using straight-walled ammunition, during certain deer hunting seasons.
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding both DNREC rules to be contrary to Delaware statutory law and the “regulations” to have violated the Administrative Procedures Act.
As a result of this decision all semi-automatic rifles — including the AR-15, chambered for straight-walled pistol caliber ammunition — that otherwise meet the requirements of the statute may now be used to harvest deer in Delaware.
DNREC may still appeal the judge’s decision to the Delaware Supreme Court.