Delaware Gun Laws
Delaware operates on a “May Issue” policy for concealed carry permits, meaning permits are only issued to full-time residents. To obtain a permit, applicants must submit their county of residence, provide five references from county residents, and publish their application in the local newspaper ten days before filing. The application is then reviewed by the Attorney General’s office and a Court.
- 983K STATE POPULATION
- NO CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY
- 26K LICENSES ISSUED
- 31 RECIPROCATING STATES
- 21 STATES HONORED
- 18 MINIMUM AGE TO CC
- 2 YEARS LICENSE VALID
- YES STAND YOUR GROUND
- 2.6% LICENSE PERCENTAGE
Delaware Gun Laws Quick Facts
Constitutional Carry? No – Delaware does not recognize constitutional carry for its residents.
Open Carry Permitted? Yes – Delaware allows individuals at least 21 years old to openly carry a firearm (including a handgun) without a license or permit, as long as they are residents of Delaware and legally allowed to possess a firearm.
Carry In Vehicle? Yes – Individuals with a CDWL (concealed deadly weapon license) or a reciprocal permit from another state recognized by Delaware can transport a firearm (either concealed or openly) in a vehicle. If an individual does not have the correct permit, the firearm must be transported within plain sight and cannot be concealed.
Carry In State Park? Yes – Individuals with a CDWL or a reciprocal permit from a state recognized by Delaware can carry concealed within a state park.
Carry In Restaurants? Yes – There are no specific codes indicating the illegality of concealed carrying a handgun in a restaurant or bar, assuming the carrier has a CDWL and is not under the influence.
No Weapon Sign Enforced? No – There are no requirements stating that “No Weapons” signs hold the force of law.
Must Notify Officer? No – Delaware is not a duty-to-inform state. However, if asked by an officer, you must truthfully answer whether you are carrying a firearm and produce the appropriate permit along with a valid photo ID.
Delaware Gun Laws for Non-Residents:
Non-residents may openly carry firearms in Delaware without a permit, except in wildlife areas during deer seasons. Concealed carry requires a license, available to non-residents who complete a firearms training course.
Delaware Gun Laws Self-Defense:
Delaware has stand-your-ground and castle doctrine laws allowing the use of force for self-defense without a duty to retreat. Reasonable or deadly force can be used to protect yourself or others from harm.
Delaware Gun Laws Transportation:
Firearms transported in vehicles must be unloaded and securely encased unless you have a valid concealed carry permit. The firearm cannot be directly accessible to the driver or passengers.
Delaware Gun Laws Suppressor:
Suppressors are legal in Delaware for lawful purposes. Obtaining one requires filing ATF forms and $200 tax stamps, along with a background check. No state permit is required for ownership.
Delaware CCW Reciprocity List
States Honoring CCW
- New Mexico*
- North Carolina
- North Dakota*
- South Dakota
- West Virginia*
(*Restricted Reciprocity with Delaware)
States NOT Honoring CCW
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington D.C
Honors These States CCW Permits
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How Reciprocity Works In Delaware
Reciprocity agreements in Delaware dictate where concealed carry weapons (CCW) are allowed or prohibited:
- Roadside rest areas
Places Not Allowed
- Police stations
- School Bus
- State-approved “SLOTS”
- Prisons and other detention facilities
- Wildlife Management Areas
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Delaware: Conceal Carry Laws
Open Carry – Yes, open carrying a handgun without a permit/license in Delaware is legal but not common. The minimum age is 21 years old. You must be a resident of the state and legally allowed to own and handle a firearm.
Carry-In Vehicle – Yes, it is a felony to carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle without a permit/license. However, you can still legally carry the firearm in a vehicle if it is in plain sight, such as on the dash or seat; it must not be concealed in places like the glove box or center console. If you have a permit/license, then you may carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
Carry-In State Parks – Yes, it is legal to carry in state parks, state/national forests, and roadside rest areas, according to specific administrative rules and Delaware Supreme Court rulings. However, carrying is not allowed in state wildlife management areas.
Carry-In Restaurants – Yes, as of this writing, there is no specific code stating that it’s illegal to conceal carry a handgun into an establishment that sells alcohol, including restaurants or bars. However, you must have a CDWL (concealed deadly weapon license) and must not be under the influence of alcohol.
Constitutional Carry – No, Delaware, while being an open carry state, does not recognize constitutional carry. A permit is required to conceal and carry a firearm.
No Weapon Signs Enforced – No, “No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Delaware gun laws. There are no legal penalties for entering private property or business with these signs.
Must Notify Officer – No, there is nothing in Delaware gun laws that states you must inform a law enforcement officer that you have a firearm when approached on official business. The law does not mandate carrying a permit/license either. However, it is recommended to carry the permit along with a photo ID while in possession of a concealed handgun.
Delaware has specific laws governing concealed carry, with a “May Issue” policy for issuing permits to residents. Open carry is permitted, but constitutional carry is not recognized. Understanding reciprocity agreements is crucial when carrying a firearm across state lines, and always complying with local laws and regulations is of utmost importance.
Can non-residents obtain a concealed carry permit in Delaware?
Non-residents are generally not eligible for a Delaware concealed carry permit. The permits are issued to full-time residents only.
Is there a minimum age requirement to obtain a concealed carry permit in Delaware?
Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to apply for a concealed carry permit in Delaware.
Are there any training requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit in Delaware? Yes, applicants must complete a firearm training course approved by the state to obtain a concealed carry permit.
What is the validity period of a Delaware concealed carry permit?
A Delaware concealed carry permit is valid for two years from the date of issue.
Can I carry a concealed weapon in state parks in Delaware without a permit?
No, carrying a concealed weapon in state parks requires a concealed deadly weapon license or a reciprocal permit from a state recognized by Delaware.
Can I Carry a Gun in Delaware:
Delaware permits both open and concealed carry for self-defense purposes, with some location restrictions. Concealed carry requires obtaining a permit by completing gun safety training and meeting other requirements. No permit is needed for open carry.