Gun laws in Delaware

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Gun laws in Delaware regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Delaware in the United States.[1][2][3]

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant statutes Notes
State Permit to Purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine Capacity Restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Carry permits issued? Yes Yes 11 Del.C. § 1441 Delaware is a officially "may issue" state for concealed carry, but mostly shall-issue in practice. Permits are generally issued to all applicants not barred from owning a firearm.
Open Carry? Yes Yes Open carry without permit is generally permitted. A 2014 State Supreme Court ruling recognized that Open Carry was a long standing fundamental right, barring local prohibitions in effect prior to July 4, 1985.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes* Yes* Complete preemption, except for town Ordinance No. 146 (enacted 6-26-1980), which bans the carry of firearms, openly or concealed in Elsmere's town parks. Also the city of Dover requires a permit from the police chief or a state concealed permit to open carry. [4]
NFA weapons restricted? Yes Yes SBRs and AOWs are legal. The city of Wilmington prohibits possession of SBRs within city limits. Machine guns, suppressors, Destructive Devices and SBS are prohibited for the average citizen.[5]
Peaceable Journey laws? No No Federal rules observed.
Background checks required for private sales? Yes Yes 147th General Assembly: Chapter 20 Private party transfers of firearms other than family members must be conducted though a licensed dealer, who is required by federal law to conduct a background check and keep a record of the sale. A transfer to a person who possesses a valid License to Carry a Concealed Deadly weapon is exempt from the background check.
Location of Delaware in the United States


  1. "State Gun Laws: Delaware", National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  2. "Delaware State Law Summary", Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  3. "Concealed Weapons Reciprocity", Delaware Attorney General's Office. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  4. Elsmere Town Code, §155-1 - J (Ordnance Number 146, enacted on 6-26-1980)
  5. "Delaware", Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Retrieved October 4, 2015.