Delaware State Laws


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I'll try to go over as many as I can here.

Firstly, not a law, but a little known fact is that, in Delaware, there is a Duty to Retreat.

State common law is still guided by the principle of State v. Reese, 79 A. 217 (Del. 1911), which states that the defendant has a duty to retreat if he can do so safely, or use other reasonable means within his power to avoid killing his assailant. This principle was most recently upheld by the state Supreme Court in Tice v. State, 382 A.2d 231 (Del. 1977).


Now, to the good stuff...

Delaware Constitution
Article 1

§ 20. Right to keep and bear arms.
Section 20. 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.

State Exemption

§ 111. Limitation on firearm regulations.
The municipal governments shall enact no law, ordinance or regulation prohibiting, restricting or licensing the ownership, transfer, possession or transportation of firearms or components of firearms or ammunition except that the discharge of a firearm may be regulated; provided any law, ordinance or regulation incorporates the justification defenses as found in Title 11. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to invalidate municipal ordinances existing before July 4, 1985, and any ordinance enacted after July 4, 1985, is hereby repealed. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section to the contrary, the City of Wilmington may, in addition to the nature and extent of regulation permitted by this section, enact any law or ordinance governing the possession or concealment of a paintball gun within its corporate limits as it deems necessary to protect the public safety. (65 Del. Laws, c. 278, § 1; 74 Del. Laws, c. 280, § 1.)

Carry Concealed Without License
§ 1442. Carrying a concealed deadly weapon; class G felony; class E felony.
A person is guilty of carrying a concealed deadly weapon when the person carries concealed a deadly weapon upon or about the person without a license to do so as provided by § 1441 of this title.

Carrying a concealed deadly weapon is a class G felony, unless the accused has been convicted within the previous 5 years of the same offense, in which case it is a class E felony. (11 Del. C. 1953, § 1442; 58 Del. Laws, c. 497, § 1; 59 Del. Laws, c. 547, § 13; 67 Del. Laws, c. 130, § 8; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

Municipal Code in Delaware

All municipalities have laws against discharging a firearm in public that carry hefty fines. Generally, there are exceptions if this is done in self-defense.

NOTE: I think that Dover falls outside of the Federal/State pre-emption due to the date that the ordinace was enacted. If I'm interpreting this correctly, basically, if you have a CCDL in Delaware, you may CC or OC. Important: I've ommited parts of this code that don't pertain directly to allowing/disallowing firearms. Also, I am not a lawyer!

Dover: Sec. 70-2. Weapons generally.
(a) Prohibited. It shall be unlawful for any person to have in his possession, carry or use a revolver or pistol of any description, a shotgun or rifle which may be used for the explosion of bullets and cartridges… (cut)
(b) License. The weapons prohibited in subsection (a) of this section shall be permitted upon the grant of a license therefore, if required, in the following situations:
(2) Other license or permit. Possession, carrying or use in conformity with a license issued by the state for that weapon or a permit issued by the chief of police.
(7) Defense. Persons exercising their legal right of self-defense or defense of property or others.

Newark: CHAPTER 31 WEAPONS, Sec. 31-3. Carrying concealed weapons; display of weapon.
No person shall, within the city, carry, wear under his clothes, conceal about his person, or display in a threatening manner, any dangerous or deadly weapons, including, but not by way of limitation, any pistol, revolver, dagger, razor, sling shot, knuckles of lead or brass or other metal, any bowie knife or any knife resembling a bowie knife, or any knife with a switch blade or device whereby the blade or blades can be opened by a flick of a button, pressure on the handle, or other mechanical contrivance.

Note: So, how I read this is that there is no concealed carry in Newark, though nothing specifically prohibits open carry.

Another good source of information:

Link Removed

Can be copied and pasted from the PDF -- right from the ATF.
Where can a DE CCW holder NOT carry?

I found the area in the DE law that prohibits carry in a school or related area. I can't seem to find anything else that defines this. I know I can't carry in a court. Where are the laws listed prohibiting carry in a Post Office (I have seen posts on the wall in the PO). How about state office buildings like the DMV?
I found the area in the DE law that prohibits carry in a school or related area. I can't seem to find anything else that defines this. I know I can't carry in a court. Where are the laws listed prohibiting carry in a Post Office (I have seen posts on the wall in the PO). How about state office buildings like the DMV?

With regards to schools you have to worry about two things: the FEDERAL law (Gun Free School Zone Act) that prohibits you from carrying a firearm within 1000' feet of a school. You are, however, EXEMPT from this if you have a license from the state in which the school resides, e.g. Delaware CCDW is exempts you from Delaware Schools. PA LTCF exempts you from PA schools, etc.

The section in the Delaware Criminal Code that penalizes carrying a firearm in a school zone actually takes effect ONLY if you are concealing without a license. If you're concealing with a license, or open carrying with a license, that'll cover you with regards to both state and federal law. You could technically open carry without a license and be within Delaware law, but you'd be violating Federal law.

The Post Office (and Federal property) is prohibited under Federal Law... google for that.

A Court House, Prisons, Police Stations are considered "Detention Facilities" and firearms are considered "contraband" and are, thus, verboten in these types of locations.

Any other public property (except state forest, state parks and lands controlled by Fish and Wildlife) should be lawful for you to carry a firearm.

Check Delaware Open Carry for more Delaware-specific talk on this particular subject. Delaware Open Carry

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