Powered by
Share this page on
Article provided by Wikipedia

Gun laws in Delaware regulate the sale, possession, and use of "firearms and "ammunition in the "U.S. state of "Delaware.[1][2][3]


Summary table[edit]

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Carry permits required? Yes Yes 11 Del.C. § 1441 Delaware is a officially "may issue" state for concealed carry, but mostly shall-issue in practice. Permits are generally issued to all applicants not barred from owning a firearm.
Open Carry? Yes Yes Open carry without permit is generally permitted. A 2014 State Supreme Court ruling recognized that Open Carry was a long standing fundamental right, barring local prohibitions in effect prior to July 4, 1985.
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes* Yes* Complete preemption, except for town Ordinance No. 146 (enacted 6-26-1980), which bans the carry of firearms, openly or concealed in Elsmere's town parks. Also the city of Dover did require a permit from the police chief or a state concealed permit to open carry but this was repealed in October of 2015 in keeping with the 2014 State Supreme Court ruling.
"NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes "SBRs and "AOWs are legal. The city of Wilmington prohibits possession of SBRs within city limits. Machine guns, suppressors, Destructive Devices and SBS are prohibited for the average citizen.[4]
Peaceable Journey laws? No No Federal rules observed.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes 147th General Assembly: Chapter 20 Private party transfers of firearms to persons other than family members must be conducted though a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. A transfer to a person who possesses a valid License to Carry a Concealed Deadly Weapon is exempt from this requirement.

Purchasing a Firearm[edit]

Delaware gun laws do not restrict purchasing of firearms, this includes rifles, shotguns, and handguns. You must be at least 18 to be able to purchase rifles and shotguns; 21 for handguns.

Delaware was voted the 5th easiest state to purchase a gun.[5] There are about 5.6 registered gun owners per 1000 people in the state of Delaware, and over 1000 firearms dealers within the state. There are also gun shows that allow you to buy antique guns, and guns that are not currently being made or are rare.

Firearm definition[edit]

Delaware law classifies a "firearm" as any weapon from which a shot, projectile or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded. It does not include BB guns.


The basic requirements to purchase a handgun are as follows: You must be 21 or older, you must have a state-registered ID, and pass a "Federal background check.

Long barrel guns[edit]

The basic requirements to purchase a long barrel gun are almost identical to handgun laws. You must be 18 years or older, you must also have a state-registered ID, and pass a Federal background check.

Restrictions and Requirements[edit]

Individuals that are barred from possessing firearms are those who have felony convictions. This also extends to misdemeanor violent offenses, along with all convictions that include narcotics and controlled substances. Another restriction that prevents people from obtaining firearms is if you have a mental instability of a mental illness. If you are younger than 16, unless you have supervision of an adult you may not purchase a firearm. The only place where you are allowed to purchase a firearm without background check would be a gun show and you wouldn't need an background check to buy antique guns.

Background Checks[edit]

In the state of Delaware a buyer of a firearm is subject to a mandatory background criminal background check. An adult-record check is also required. In 2016 the Delaware General Assembly passed legislation that required all gun purchasers have a federal background check, however if the government takes more than 3 days for the check the seller of the firearm is allowed to go forward with the sale. In the state of Delaware you are permitted to buy a shotgun with a background check being sent to the firearm dealer. The average cost of a state background check in Delaware is $52.

Concealed Carry[edit]

To be able to carry a concealed weapon you must first have a CDW permit. In order to get this permit you must first post your application published at least once, at least 10 days before filing. You must then obtain and attach an affidavit which shows that the publication was met. After that you must also submit 5 reference questionnaires completed by citizens of the county in which you reside. Lastly you must have the application notarized. If denied for your application you are allowed to appeal. If accepted you will have 90 days to complete the approved gun course, only then will you be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. After your first three years you will need to re apply for your permit. If you are granted another permit this one will now last you five years not three.

Restricted areas[edit]

Legal gun owners can bring their firearms almost anywhere in the state of Delaware. Gun owners are legally allowed to openly carry handguns in the state. The only places where firearms are prohibited by law are courthouses, police stations, and a few additional areas. Public parks were prohibited area until the state Supreme Court found their inclusion unconstitutional and prohibited enforcement of a carry ban on state park lands.[6] Additionally if you own a CCW permit for a concealed carry you are also allowed to bring your firearm to almost half of the states. (46%)

Location of Delaware in the United States


  1. ^ "State Gun Laws: Delaware", National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  2. ^ "Delaware State Law Summary", Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  3. ^ "Concealed Weapons Reciprocity", Delaware Attorney General's Office. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "Delaware", Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  5. ^ "Easiest states to buy a gun". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Delaware Supreme Court strikes down broad restrictions on gun possession in state parks and forests", Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy. Retrieved December 12, 2017.











) ) WikipediaAudio is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the WikiMedia Foundation.