Sun Gazette: Del. Hope aims to tie gun permits to child-support payments Print

Created:  Thursday, January 15, 2015 3:15PM

Del. Patrick Hope (D-47th) is seeking to ensure prompt payment of child support by taking a unique tack – threatening to revoke gun privileges for those who fall behind.

Under the measure, an individual's concealed-handgun permit could be revoked if the individual is delinquent in the payment of child support by more than 90 days or more than $5,000.

The bill, if enacted, also would allow for revocation of the permit if an individual has failed to comply with a subpoena, summons or warrant relating to paternity or child-support proceedings.

In each case, if the matter is addressed by the individual, he or she could reapply for a concealed-weapons permit, but would not automatically get it back.

Hope said his proposal is not going unchallenged.

"There will be the usual pushback on this bill," he told the Sun Gazette. "Gun-rights advocates have already challenged me on revoking their constitutional right to carry a gun."

"My response is no constitutional right is absolute, and deadbeat parents ought not be protected," he said. "Are we really going to protect parents from meeting their financial obligations to their children? My view is if you cannot take responsibility for your children, then you cannot take responsibility to carry a gun."

The measure was directed to the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety, on which Hope sits.