Concealed Weapons Laws in Delaware
Under Delaware state law (11 Del. Code Ann. § 1441) you must be licensed in order to carry any type of concealed weapon on or near your person. Furthermore, the state constitution protects your rights under the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution to keep and bear arms (see Article I, Section 20). However, this does not mean that you can carry a gun whenever and wherever you choose to do so. The following content goes into further detail about the aspects of carrying concealed weapons.
A Brief Word About the “May Issue to Residents Only” Classification
Even when an individual meets all of the legal requirements for carrying a concealed weapon, the “May Issue to Residents Only” classification allows any issuing official in the state to approve or reject the issuance of a permit to any resident. Furthermore, you are not eligible for a concealed weapon permit in the state of Delaware if you are not a legal resident.
Concealed Weapon Permit in Delaware– Minimum Requirements
There are certain minimum requirements that a person must meet in order to procure a concealed weapon permit including the following:
• First and foremost, you must be a Delaware state resident or a permanent resident alien.
• You must be a minimum of 21 years old.
• You must be physically present in the US.
What You Need to Know About Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Newark Delaware
Other than law enforcement agency members, it is illegal for any individual to carry a concealed firearm (loaded or unloaded) on or near their person without a state-issued license. The following applies to carrying a firearm in the state of Delaware:
• If you carry rifles and/or shotguns in or on any farm machinery, motorboat or sailboat that is being operated on the water, and your vehicle they cannot be loaded.
• If you possess a license to carry, you may renew your license for an additional period of 3 years without any additional requirements to fulfill or any further application by paying the licensing fees and taxes to the Prothonotary. You may continue to renew your license for ensuing 3-year periods. However, if the Superior Court has been presented with valid cause, they may deny the renewal.
• You can carry a handgun in an inaccessible area of your vehicle (e.g. the trunk of your vehicle) or in open view.
• You must file a “license to carry” with the Prothonotary of the Superior Court for the county that you live in no less than 15 days prior to the next court term. Your first license will be valid for a period of two years.
• You must furnish a document that vouches for your age, good moral character and sobriety, and reputation for order and peace and that carrying a concealed weapon is necessary for your property, protection or both. (NOTE: the document must be signed by 5 “respectable” citizens of the same district you reside in.)
Who Cannot Carry, Possess, or Purchase a Firearm in Delaware?
There are certain individuals who, by law, cannot carry, possess, or purchase any type of firearm. Under Delaware state law, if you are prohibited from possessing any firearms, this also means that you cannot purchase them. In addition to this, no individual is allowed to manufacture, receive, possess, or sell a sawed-off shotgun that has one or more barrels and is less than 26” in total length (barrel length cannot be less than 18”). The following individuals cannot buy a firearm nor have one in their possession:
• You are not 21 years old
• You are a fugitive from justice
• You are addicted to a controlled substance or are an unlawful user of them
• You are under a protective order of the court
• You have been convicted of domestic violence or a misdemeanor
• You have been convicted or indicted for a felony in this country or anywhere else
• You have been diagnosed as clinically insane or are mentally deranged
• You were dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces
In addition to the above, you may not be a citizen of another country after renouncing your US citizenship and receive a concealed weapon permit. Furthermore, if you were born outside the US or a US territory, you will have to send a copy of your alien status or your Proof of Citizenship.
Additionally, no permit is required for the purchase of a handgun, rifle, or shotgun. However, you must be 21 years old to purchase a handgun and 18 years old to purchase a rifle or shotgun. A criminal background check or criminal history record check will be required prior to purchasing a handgun, rifle, or shotgun. Individuals possessing a concealed weapon permit or who are purchasing antique firearms, replicas of antique firearms, and shotguns are exempt from the background or criminal history check.
Penalties for Carrying Firearms Illegally in the State of Delaware
According to 11 Del. Code Ann. § 1442, carrying a concealed handgun without a concealed carry license in the state of Delaware is classified as a Class D felony. In addition to paying a fine and/or spending time in prison, the penalties can increase if you are arrested for illegally:
• Carrying or possessing a weapon without a concealed carry license
• When carrying loaded weapons in any Safe School and Recreation Zone (see (11 Del. Code Ann. § 1457)
• When carrying loaded weapons in your vehicle (7 Del. Code Ann. § 708)
Hiring an Experienced Attorney
If you are arrested for carrying a concealed weapon illegally in the state of Delaware, you could be facing harsh fines and penalties including a lengthy prison sentence. This means that you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to ensure the best outcome in your case and protect your rights throughout the process. The right criminal defense attorney will possess the necessary expertise and knowledge to assist you with your case. They will be able to evaluate your case in the initial consultation appointment and recommend a defense that is appropriate for your specific circumstances.
I serve the Newark, University of Delaware campus, Wilmington, Middletown, Bear, Glasgow, Pike Creek, Hockessin, Claymont, New Castle, Odessa, Townsend, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Seaford, Georgetown, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach areas.