Concealed Carry in Delaware
Delaware concealed carry laws are clear: it is a class D felony to carry a concealed firearm upon or about the person without a license to carry concealed deadly weapons, according to 11 Del. C. 5 § 1442 "A person is guilty of carrying a concealed deadly weapon when the person carries concealed a deadly weapon upon or about the person without a license to do so as provided by § 1441 of this title.
Carrying a concealed deadly weapon is a class G felony, unless the deadly weapon is a firearm, in which case it is a class D felony."
The permit will be a necessity for residents looking to carry in-state, but non-residents have options to carry in Delaware as well, either through reciprocity agreements or a temporary license. There are, of course, location restrictions throughout the state.
Here's a description of how to apply for the Delaware concealed carry permit, which locations restrict firearms and how reciprocity works within Delaware.
How To Apply For A Delaware Concealed Carry Permit
As a "may-issue" state, the Delaware concealed carry permit is issued only to residents at the state's discretion based on multiple criteria, but there is a statute that allows the state's attorney general to issue a temporary 30-day permit to nonresidents.
The Delaware Superior Court is the authority that grants the "concealed deadly weapon permit," but it only does so after an application is first investigated and then recommended by the attorney general's office.
The statute governing the application process is 11 Del. C. 5 § 1441"A person of full age and good moral character desiring to be licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon for personal protection or the protection of the person's property may be licensed to do so when the following conditions have been strictly complied with:" , and it can be summarized in eight specific steps.
- Within 10 days prior to filing their application, the applicant must arrange to have their application (including their name and resident address) published by a county newspaper with a circulation of at least 35 percent of the population in the applicant's zip code. The applicant must also receive an affidavit from the newspaper verifying it was published.
- Fingerprints must be taken within 45 days of filing the application and the applicant must present receipt of this. It's for a background check.
- A reference questionnaire must be completed by five citizens within the county the applicant lives in, and they may not be family or reside at the same address.
- The application itself must be completed with a duplicate, and it must be notarized. Retired Delaware police officers use a different application system.
- Two color, passport-style photos must be included with the application and references.
- Include the $65 filing fee.
- Hand deliver or mail the application and its attachments to the appropriate Prothonotary's office.
- If and when the license application is approved (if it is denied, written notice will be given), the applicant will be notified and from there an approved course must be taken from one of Delaware's approved instructors and an original, notarized certificate from the course must also be submitted.
The course contents must comply with 1 Del. C. 5 § 1441 (3)a. Instruction regarding knowledge and safe handling of firearms;
b. Instruction regarding safe storage of firearms and child safety;
c. Instruction regarding knowledge and safe handling of ammunition;
d. Instruction regarding safe storage of ammunition and child safety;
e. Instruction regarding safe firearms shooting fundamentals;
f. Live fire shooting exercises conducted on a range, including the expenditure of a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition;
g. Identification of ways to develop and maintain firearm shooting skills;
h. Instruction regarding federal and state laws pertaining to the lawful purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of firearms;
i. Instruction regarding the laws of this State pertaining to the use of deadly force for self-defense; and
j. Instruction regarding techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to manage a violent confrontation, including conflict resolution. . The course will go over gun safety, handling, storage, training, firing, problem de-escalation and related topics.
The background check will verify criminal and mental health history and determine the applicant's eligibility based on state (1 Del. C. 5 § 1448(1) Any person having been convicted in this State or elsewhere of a felony or a crime of violence involving physical injury to another, whether or not armed with or having in possession any weapon during the commission of such felony or crime of violence;
(2) Any person who has ever been committed for a mental disorder to any hospital, mental institution or sanitarium, unless such person can demonstrate that he or she is no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to § 1448A of this title;
(3) Any person who has been convicted for the unlawful use, possession or sale of a narcotic, dangerous drug or central nervous system depressant or stimulant as those terms were defined prior to the effective date of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act in June 1973 or of a narcotic drug or controlled substance as defined in Chapter 47 of Title 16;
(4) Any person who, as a juvenile, has been adjudicated as delinquent for conduct which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, unless and until that person has reached their twenty-fifth birthday;
(5) Any juvenile, if said deadly weapon is a handgun, unless said juvenile possesses said handgun for the purpose of engaging in lawful hunting, instruction, sporting or recreational activity while under the direct or indirect supervision of an adult. For the purpose of this subsection, a "handgun" shall be defined as any pistol, revolver or other firearm designed to be readily capable of being fired when held in 1 hand;
(6) Any person who is subject to a Family Court protection from abuse order (other than an ex parte order), but only for so long as that order remains in effect or is not vacated or otherwise terminated, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a contested order issued solely upon § 1041(1)d., e., or h. of Title 10, or any combination thereof;
(7) Any person who has been convicted in any court of any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" means any misdemeanor offense that:
(8) Any person who, knowing that he or she is the defendant or co-defendant in any criminal case in which that person is alleged to have committed any felony under the laws of this State, the United States or any other state or territory of the United States, becomes a fugitive from justice by failing to appear for any scheduled court proceeding pertaining to such felony for which proper notice was provided or attempted. It is no defense to a prosecution under this paragraph that the person did not receive notice of the scheduled court proceeding.
(9) Any person, if the deadly weapon is a semi-automatic or automatic firearm, or a handgun, who, at the same time, possesses a controlled substance in violation of § 4763, or § 4764 of Title 16.
) and federal (18 U.S.C. § 922[g][1-9]) requirements. The applicant must be of "full age" and good moral character.
Full age is defined as 18 years old, according to 1 Del. C. 7 § 701.
Once approved, the initial license is valid for three years and it may be renewed again for another five years.
The license, however, does not allow carry in specific locations throughout the state.
Delaware Gun Laws Enacted Locational Restrictions
Take into account that there are Delaware gun laws that restrict carrying the firearm in a few specific areas.
Firearms are restricted at buildings, structures, athletic fields, sports stadiums, properties and premises owned by public and private kindergarten, elementary and secondary schools. This restriction also includes colleges, universities and public recreation areas and all these locations are formally defined as Safe School and Recreation Zones, according to 1 Del. C. 5 § 1457(c) For the purpose of this section, "Safe School and Recreation Zone" shall mean:
(1) Any building, structure, athletic field, sports stadium or real property owned, operated, leased or rented by any public or private school including, but not limited to, any kindergarten, elementary, secondary or vocational-technical school or any college or university, within 1,000 feet thereof; or
(2) Any motor vehicle owned, operated, leased or rented by any public or private school including, but not limited to, any kindergarten, elementary, secondary, or vocational-technical school or any college or university; or
(3) Any building or structure owned, operated, leased or rented by any county or municipality, or by the State, or by any board, agency, commission, department, corporation or other entity thereof, or by any private organization, which is utilized as a recreation center, athletic field or sports stadium.
Doing so may result in felony charges.
Note that Delaware has state preemption laws that restrict municipalities from enacting further prohibitions, restrictions and licensing requirements, according to 22 Del. C. 8 § 835(a) This chapter shall not permit the amending of a municipal charter so as to:
(6) Prohibit, restrict or license ownership, transfer, possession or transportation of firearms or components of firearms or ammunition, except that the discharge of a firearm may be regulated; provided that any regulation or ordinance incorporates the justification defenses as found in Title 11. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to invalidate existing municipal ordinances. .
Prisons and detention facilities are also a no-go for firearms. Federal buildings and other federally prohibited locations also apply. Refer to 18 U.S. Code § 930(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both..
Firearms are prohibited in Delaware state parks, which was recently the subject of a court case that upheld the restriction.
There may be other locations throughout the state that administratively regulate firearms on the premises. Because this is not a comprehensive list of prohibited locations nor legal advice, please contact local authorities about further location restrictions.
There may be additional restrictions in state wildlife management areas, courthouses and casinos.
No matter where the carrier goes, however, they may not have possession of a firearm while under the influence. It can lead to a Class A misdemeanor. However, according to 11 Del. C. 5 § 1460, "it shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that, the firearm was not readily operable, or that the person was not in possession of ammunition for the firearm."
Delaware reciprocity agreements will affect nonresidents who are traveling within the state. A media report of one man stated he faced felony charges for traveling with a firearm to Delaware with a Tennessee permit on hand. The state dropped the charges, but it proves how important reciprocity is.
Delaware Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Delaware concealed carry reciprocity statutes outline that the attorney general has the responsibility to enforce full faith and credit and otherwise honor other states' permits when they, in turn, honor Delaware's permit.
But, the reciprocating state must have similarly strict outlines and procedures for their licensing system.
As it stands, Delaware releases annual lists of which states it recognizes. From January 2017 to January 2018, for example, there were 20 states it recognized. Those traveling from Idaho and South Dakota will need an enhanced permit, and those from North Dakota will need a Class 1 permit.
There are just shy of 25 states that Delawareans may travel to with their concealed firearm and permit, but note that they must abide by the other state's laws. This may result in a problem for those from Delaware who are 18 to 20 and have a permit — many states have a 21 year old age requirement.
Stay up to date on changes to reciprocity agreements by reviewing a CCW reciprocity map.
This guide is an only an introductory, informational touching point. If you have more information on laws or knowledge on restricted locations in Delaware, comment below!
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About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the pacific northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.