Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed handgun permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapon License (CDWL) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

Delaware is a may-issue state. The prothonotary office issues weapons licenses at the county level. If the Attorney General determines a non-resident has a need to carry a weapon in conjunction with the person’s employment, the AG has the discretion to issue a temporary concealed weapons license. Open carry is legal for anyone who is older than 18 and can legally possess a firearm. Concealed carry is legal in Delaware for residents with a CDWL and non-residents with a permit from a state that Delaware honors.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Delaware?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete a firearms training course
  • Have 5 references from the county in which he or she resides. The references 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 or the applicant’s property or both
  • Verify his or her application by oath or affirmation in writing before a state-authorized officer and state in writing that the applicant’s certificate and recommendations were read by its 5 signers and that the signatures are authentic
  • Never have been convicted in Delaware or elsewhere of a felony or a crime of violence
  • If under 25 years old, never have been, as a juvenile, adjudicated as delinquent for conduct which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony
  • Never have been convicted for the unlawful use, possession or sale of a narcotic, dangerous drug or central nervous system depressant or stimulant
  • Not be subject to a Protection From Abuse Order issued by a court
  • Never have been committed for a mental disorder to any hospital, mental institution or sanitarium
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in Delaware?

A firearms training course that includes live-fire shooting exercises is required to obtain a permit. Applicants must obtain five references from residents of their county and then they must publish their application in a local newspaper 10 days before filing their application. The application is reviewed by the attorney general’s office and a court.

A firearms training course shall include the following elements:

  • Safe handling of firearms and ammunition
  • Safe storage of firearms and child safety
  • Safe storage of ammunition and child safety
  • Safe firearms shooting fundamentals
  • Live-fire shooting exercises conducted on a range, including the expenditure of a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition
  • Identification of ways to develop and maintain firearms shooting skills
  • Federal and state laws pertaining to the lawful purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of firearms
  • Laws of this state pertaining to the use of deadly force for self-defense
  • Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to manage a violent confrontation, including conflict resolution

Be sure to verify that any firearm training you receive in order to obtain your license is approved by the state of Delaware.

No additional training is required for license renewals.

A Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class from the USCCA meets permitting requirements in Delaware. Find a class near you!

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Delaware?

Step 1: Download and complete the application. You can take your training class before you submit your application or wait until your application is approved, at which point you have 90 days to submit your training certificate.

Step 2: Arrange with a newspaper of general circulation in your county to have your application published once, at least 10 business days before the filing of your application with the court. Obtain an affidavit from the newspaper company stating that this requirement has been met and attach it to your application. Note: Selected newspaper must have a circulation of at least 35 percent of the population in your zip code. Be sure to use your whole name — no initials — and your home address.

Step 3: Arrange to be fingerprinted by the State Bureau of Identification (SBI) within 45 days of filing an application. Fingerprinting by appointment only. Call the SBI at (302) 739-2528 and you will be given the address of the Delaware State Police Troop to report to at the time you are given an appointment. You may want to verify payment methods at the time you schedule your interview.

Step 4:  Have the reference questionnaires completed by 5 citizens from the county in which you reside who are not related to you and who have known you for at least 1 year.

Step 5:  Take the completed and notarized application to the prothonotary office, or mail it to the prothonotary office in the county in which you reside. You will need to include the following:

    • The original set of fingerprints and a complete copy of all the documents
    • Two passport-style photographs taken within the preceding 6-month period
    • The filing fee

Step 6: If your application is approved, you must now complete an approved gun course within 90 days. If you cannot complete the course within 90 days of the approval of your gun license, submit proof that you have enrolled in the course.

Step 7: Submit an original, notarized certification of satisfactory completion of the firearms training course. Please note that if a certification or proof of enrollment is not filed with the court within 90 days of the approval of your gun license, they will assume you no longer want to obtain a gun license. In order to obtain a gun license, you will have to start the process over.

Your license will be issued.


For more information, visit the USCCA 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.