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Delaware Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in Delaware

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Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use.. Enacted in 1987.

Concealed Carry

Delaware is a may-issue state, meaning officials are not required by law to issue carry permits to qualified applicants. The process of obtaining a carry permit in Delaware includes running a legal notice in a newspaper of at least 35% circulation in one’s home county, stating intent to obtain the permit. A background check and firearms safety course completion are also required. After review by the state attorney general’s office, a final decision on whether to grant the permit is made by a judge. Because the firearms course is more expensive in Delaware than in many other states and because legal publication is required, handgun permits are generally more expensive to obtain in Delaware. The average cost is about $400.

States that honor Delaware’s carry permits include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

Delaware honors carry permits from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Castle Doctrine

Though Delaware does not have a castle doctrine law, per se, the state does permit the use of force in self-defense of self and others. Victims have the duty to retreat, if possible, except within their home or workplace.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Open carry is permissible in Delaware. However, long guns must be unloaded if they’re being transported in a vehicle.

The state has a preemption law that prohibits local governments from enacting gun laws more restrictive than the state laws.

Restrictions

  • Gun bans: None.
  • Waiting period for gun purchases: None.
  • License or permit required to purchase guns? No.
  • Registration of guns required? No.
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