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Delaware Gun Laws

Delaware has stronger gun laws than most states in the nation, but the state is gun-friendly in certain areas of its laws. Universal Background Checks are enforced in Delaware, but there are no requirements for licensing or registration prior to obtaining a firearm. The state has certain hardware restrictions. As a “may issue” state, Delaware counties reserve the right to deny concealed carry license applicants. Overall, Delaware is not one of the more gun-friendly states in the USA.

Delaware Gun Laws at a Glance


Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting Yes
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check Yes
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements


Delaware does not require gun owners to obtain any kind of license.

Background Checks


In Delaware, a background check must be performed before any dealer transfers a firearm to a buyer. This does not apply to shotguns or antique firearms purchases being made by a person with a valid concealed carry permit. Private sales of firearms must be conducted through a licensed dealer so that a background check can be obtained.

Delaware background checks are transmitted directly through the FBI. The transfer of a firearm may be completed when the dealer is informed by the FBI that the applicant may proceed with his or her purchase. If 25 days pass and the dealer has not been informed of a decision by the FBI, the transfer may be completed.

Gun Shows


Delaware has no laws regarding gun shows. However, background checks are required prior to any private transfers of firearms.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons Delaware has no laws regarding assault weapons.
50 Caliber Rifles Delaware has no laws regarding 50 caliber rifles.
Machine Guns Delaware prohibits any person from selling, transferring, purchasing, receiving, or possessing any machine gun or weapon that is adaptable as a machine gun. This does not apply to: Members of the US military or police officers stationed in Delaware. Persons possessing machine guns for scientific or experimental purposes. These machine guns must be duly registered under the National Firearms Act of 1968.
Large Capacity Magazines Delaware has no laws regarding large-capacity magazines.
Ammunition Delaware prohibits the purchase or possession of ammunition by those people who are prohibited from carrying firearms.

Prohibited Persons


Delaware prohibits the purchase, possession, ownership, or control of any firearms by any persons:

  • Convicted of a felony or violent crime (unless expunged)
  • Committed for a mental disorder to any hospital, institution, or sanitarium
  • Convicted of the unlawful use, sale, or possession of any narcotics
  • Who, as a juvenile, was adjudicated as a delinquent for a crime that would constitute a felony if committed by an adult
  • Who is a juvenile (for handguns only), unless the juvenile possesses the handgun for hunting, sport, instruction, or recreation under the supervision of an adult
  • Who is currently subject to a protective order
  • Who has been convicted of any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
  • Who knows that he or she is the defendant in a criminal case in which he or she is accused of having committed a felony

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Delaware prohibits any person from possessing a firearm in a “Safe School and Recreation Zone”. These zones include any building or location owned or leased by a public or private school. Any weapon possessed pursuant to an approved school function or course
Vehicles Delaware prohibits the possession of loaded rifles or shotguns in any vehicle while the vehicle is under power. Anyone with a Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapon License or a permit from a state that Delaware honors can carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle.
Public Courthouses Firearms are prohibited in any building or structure owned, operated, leased, or rented by any county or municipality or by the state. None.
Locations and events selling alcohol Firearms permitted with proper licensing. None.

Concealed Carry Laws


Notify Officer Not required
“No Gun” Signs Enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Permitted
Restaurant Carry Permitted
State Park Carry Permitted except where posted
While Hunting Prohibited. You may hunt using a handgun, however you may not carry both a hunting rifle and a concealed carry firearm simultaneously.

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

Delaware is a “may issue” state. This means that local law enforcement has the discretion to determine whether or not to issue a concealed carry permit to a given applicant.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
Under Delaware law, “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” if that person:
  • Submits a written application to the Prothonotary of the county in which the applicant resides stating that he or she seeks a permit to carry a concealed weapon. This application must be submitted at least 15 days before the next term of the Superior Court.
  • Includes with said application a certificate “of full age, sobriety, and good moral character” signed by five respectable citizens of the county where the applicant currently resides. The certificate must also state that the applicant has a good reputation for peace and good order, and that the applicant’s possession of a concealed firearm is necessary for his or her protection.
  • Verifies his or her application by oath or writing to a state-authorized officer.
  • States in writing that the application’s signatures are authentic
  • Has not been convicted of a felony

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

Applicants are required to complete handgun safety training that has been approved by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection. During this course, students must fire a semi-automatic pistol or a revolver.

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

To be granted a concealed carry license in Delaware, the applicant must also include a notarized certificate stating the completion of a state-approved firearms training course. This course must include the following training elements:

  • Safe handling and knowledge of both firearms and ammunition
  • Safe storage of both firearms and ammunition
  • Child safety as it pertains to both firearms and ammunition
  • Firearms shooting fundamentals
  • State and federal laws pertaining to lawful firearm ownership, purchase, use, and transportation
  • State laws pertaining to the use of deadly force
  • Techniques for managing attacks and violent confrontations, including conflict resolution

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.