“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.”

*NOTE: Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision on NYSRPA v. Bruen, “May Issue” states must affirm the right to bear arms in public, marking the end of these subjective and unconstitutional permitting schemes. Now these states are scrambling to figure out how to curtail the decision by passing new laws to effectively make it difficult, or even outright illegal, to conceal carry in public. For that reason, things are moving too fast to keep these specific states updated. Please be vigilant in staying updated with your state laws.


Delaware is a may-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level. There is no permit required to purchase firearms nor is firearms registration required. Private-party transfers are required to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. Open carry is legal in Delaware for anyone that is over 18. Concealed carry is legal in Delaware for residents with a CDWL and non-residents with a CCW permit from a state that Delaware honors. Delaware is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat in or from your dwelling or place of work.Where a person has used force for the protection of property, such person shall not be liable for damages or be otherwise civilly liable to the one against whom such force was used.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Delaware will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Delaware’s license:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code to the contrary, the State of Delaware shall give full faith and credit and shall otherwise honor and give full force and effect to all licenses/permits issued to the citizens of other states where those issuing states also give full faith and credit and otherwise honor the licenses issued by the State of Delaware pursuant to this section and where those licenses/permits are issued by authority pursuant to state law and which afford a reasonably similar degree of protection as is provided by licensure in Delaware…”

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Delaware does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry but if an Officer asks about a weapon, by law, an answer must be supplied. You must carry a valid photo identification at all times that you are in actual possession of a concealed handgun. You must produce identification upon demand by a LEO.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Delaware requires a permit in order to carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle. People without a permit may carry a handgun in their vehicle so long as it is in plain view and can be seen from outside the vehicle, such as on the dashboard or passenger seat.

NFA Items

The only NFA items that may be owned in Delaware are SBRs and AOWs. The city of Wilmington prohibits possession of SBRs within city limits. MGs, suppressors, DDs and SBSs are prohibited for non-LEO individuals.

Self-Defense Laws

Delaware has modified form of Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in Your dwelling or place of work, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is imminently necessary to prevent death or SBI, kidnapping, or rape.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

There is no law stating it is illegal. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that you not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

“No Firearm” signs in Delaware do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State Law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to arrest for criminal trespass.

Open Carry

Open carry without a permit is legal in Delaware. The minimum age for open carry is 18.

Universal Background Checks

Background checks are mandatory for all firearm sales, and transfers between private parties, except between family members, must go through a licensed dealer. This does not apply to holders of a valid Delaware carry license.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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