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Delaware Gun Laws

Delaware Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Delaware’s gun laws have witnessed significant changes, reflecting the state’s ongoing commitment to enhancing firearm safety and responsible ownership. From background checks to assault weapon regulations, these developments have aimed to strike a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key advancements in Delaware’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, organized in the form of bullet points:

2013 – Background Checks for All Firearm Sales:

   – Delaware enacts laws requiring universal background checks for all firearm sales, closing potential loopholes in private transactions.

2014 – Concealed Carry Permit Requirements:

   – The state introduces stringent criteria for concealed carry permits, requiring applicants to demonstrate a “good and substantial reason” for carrying a concealed firearm.

2015 – Domestic Violence Offender Firearm Restrictions:

   – Legislation is passed to prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses or subject to protective orders from owning firearms.

2016 – Firearms Prohibition for Mental Health Concerns:

   – Delaware enforces stricter restrictions on firearm ownership for individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others due to mental health concerns.

2017 – “Red Flag” Law Implementation:

   – Delaware introduces Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), allowing family members and law enforcement to seek temporary firearm removal for individuals deemed at risk.

2018 – Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms:

   – Legislation mandates reporting lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within a specific timeframe, aiming to prevent the diversion of firearms to illegal markets.

2019 – Age Limit for Firearm Purchases Raised:

   – The minimum age for purchasing firearms, including long guns and handguns, is raised from 18 to 21 years old, aligning with federal age restrictions.

2020 – “Assault Weapon” and “High-Capacity” Magazine Ban Consideration:

   – Discussion arises around proposed legislation to ban certain assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, sparking debates on the balance between personal rights and community safety.

2021 – Enhanced Background Checks for Concealed Carry Permits:

   – Delaware strengthens background checks for concealed carry permit applicants, requiring a thorough review of mental health history and criminal records.

2022 – Firearm Storage Requirements:

    – The state introduces regulations mandating safe firearm storage to prevent unauthorized access, particularly by minors.

2022 – Firearms Training Requirements for Concealed Carry:

    – Delaware considers enhancing training requirements for concealed carry permit applicants, focusing on responsible gun ownership and firearm handling skills.

2023 – Reporting Lost or Stolen Ammunition:

    – Proposed legislation aims to require reporting lost or stolen ammunition to law enforcement, similar to the reporting requirement for firearms.

2023 – Stricter Penalties for Firearm Trafficking:

    – Delaware enforces harsher penalties for firearm trafficking, aiming to deter illegal firearms distribution.

2023 – Assault Weapon and High-Capacity Magazine Ban Enactment:

    – Legislation is passed to ban certain assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, following a comprehensive review of the potential impacts on public safety.

Delaware’s gun laws have evolved significantly in the past decade, reflecting the state’s ongoing efforts to strike a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety concerns. From universal background checks and concealed carry regulations to “red flag” laws and potential bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, these changes underscore Delaware’s commitment to responsible firearm ownership. As the state continues to navigate this complex terrain, it remains crucial for stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens to engage in informed discussions that prioritize both individual freedoms and community well-being.

Delaware gun laws do not restrict the purchasing
of firearms–which include rifles, shotguns, and handguns–to be subject to the requirement of a permit.
The only discrepancy that exists is that to purchase rifles and shotguns, you must be at least 18 years of age, while for purchase of a handgun, the individual must be at least 21 years of age. In order to be eligible to purchase a firearm, a prospective buyer must submit him/herself to a mandatory criminal background check. Furthermore, an adult record check is also required.
The only types of firearms that are exempt from necessitating any kind of background checks are those considered to be antiques or replicas. Individuals that are involved in law enforcement, as well as those possessing valid permits to carry concealed weapons, are also exempt from background checks as well. It is considered illegal to transfer or sell any kind of firearm to minors under the age 18, without consent from a parent or legal guardian.
Delaware gun laws also do not require any kind of permit for the possession of shotguns, rifles, or handguns. Individuals that are barred from possessing firearms are those that have a felony conviction. This is also extended to include misdemeanor offenses of a violent nature.
However, people with misdemeanor convictions may be eligible to possess and purchase firearms after fives years from the date of conviction. All convictions involving narcotics or controlled substances also render possession of firearms illegal to those with this type of criminal record. People that exhibit a history of mental instability or illness are also prohibited from possessing firearms. Under Delaware gun laws, air guns and BB guns are also included.
It is stated that no minor under the age of 16 may be in possession of a firearm, including air guns and BB guns, unless under the direct supervision of an adult. Furthermore, it is to be considered a misdemeanor charge for anyone to have in possession ammunition or projectiles intended for use with air guns or BB guns larger than that of a standard BB shot.
Under Delaware gun law, it is illegal for any person to carry a concealed firearm–whether it is loaded or unloaded–without the proper license. The application for the permit to carry a firearm must be processed by the Prothonotary of the Superior Court representing the county of residence of the applicant. Furthermore, the applicant must also provide five references from individuals residing in that area, attesting to the applicants moral character and reputation, correct age, and the necessity of the applicant to carry a concealed weapon is valid and warranted.
Each reference must write the letter  personally and sign it in order for the application to be approved. The license, when first issued, is valid for two years, and may be renewed every three years after the initial period. The central requirement of transporting shotguns and rifles–in automobiles, aquatic vehicles, and farm machinery–is that they must be unloaded to be considered under proper provision and observation of Delaware gun law.