As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it may be to stay up to date on gun laws.

Delaware gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Delaware gun laws. (Not from Delaware? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state.)

Can You Carry a Gun in Your Car in Delaware?

Yes, anyone with a Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapon License (CDWL) or a permit from a state that Delaware honors can concealed carry in a vehicle. Without a permit, a firearm must be transported in plain sight — such as on the dash or seat — but not in the glove box or any place it cannot be seen.

Do You Need a License to Own a Gun in Delaware? Is There a Waiting Period to Buy a Gun in Delaware?

No. You do not need a license to own a handgun in Delaware. There are no purchase permits, handgun registration or waiting periods for handguns in Delaware.

Is Delaware a Stand Your Ground State? Does Delaware Have a Castle Law (Castle Doctrine)?

No, Delaware does not have a “Stand Your GroundSo-called “stand-your-ground” laws allow armed individuals who believe they are in imminent danger to use deadly force under certain circumstances, without first attempting to retreat from the danger.” law. However, Delaware is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no duty to retreat in or from your dwelling or place of work in situations where there is a reasonable belief that such force is necessary to protect yourself or another person against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat. The law applies so long as you did not provoke the situation. There is a duty to retreat in public if you can retreat with complete safety, surrender an object someone is trying to take or comply with a demand to not do something.

Can a Pennsylvania Resident Carry a Gun in Delaware?

Not at this time, Delaware recognizes licenses or permits to carry concealed deadly weapons issued by other states that honor Delaware licenses to carry concealed deadly weapons. That is if the state affords a reasonably similar degree of protection as is provided by licensure in Delaware and does not evidence a pattern of issuing licenses or permits to convicted felons. Some states issue multiple levels of permits or licenses, so only specific permits from those states may be honored.  There are 21 states that currently meet those requirements, although that is subject to change. Visit the Delaware gun laws page for up-to-date reciprocity information.

I Understand That Delaware Is a May-Issue State. What Does That Mean?

Delaware is a may-issue state with concealed weapons permits issued at the county level by the prothonotary office. May-issue means that applicants must pass basic requirements, and the issuing authority is allowed to use discretion in either issuing or denying a permit. Delaware state law indicates a person at least 18 years old and of good moral character desiring a Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapon License (CDWL) for personal protection or the protection of the person’s property may obtain a license.

One of the requirements for obtaining a Delaware CDWL includes supplying references from five respectable citizens of the county in which the applicant resides at the time of filing the application. The certificate shall clearly state that the applicant is a person of full age, sobriety and good moral character, that the applicant bears a good reputation for peace and good order in the community in which the applicant resides, and that the carrying of a concealed deadly weapon by the applicant is necessary for the protection of the applicant, the applicant’s property or both.

Can a Non-Resident Open Carry in Delaware?

Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry in the state of Delaware.

Is Delaware a Constitutional Carry State?

No, Delaware is may-issue state. The Attorney General issues concealed carry permits with discretion.

Can You Concealed Carry in a Bar in Delaware?

Yes, with a Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapon License or a permit from a state that Delaware honors unless posted and provided you are not under the influence. Under the influence is defined as a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more or being manifestly under the influence of alcohol or any illicit or recreational drug, as defined in § 4177(c) of Title 21. This includes any other drug not administered or prescribed to be taken by a physician to the degree that the person may be in danger or endanger other persons or property or annoy persons in the vicinity.

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Ready to Learn More About Delaware Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Delaware’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Delaware gun laws page now… 

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.