Delaware prohibits carrying a concealed deadly weapon upon or about the person without a license.1
Delaware law provides for a license to be issued to a “person of full age2 and good moral character desiring to be licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon for personal protection or the protection of the person’s property” if the person:
- Applies in writing to the Prothonotary of the county in which the applicant resides, at least 15 days before the next term of the Superior Court, stating that he or she seeks a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon for personal protection or protection of property, or both;
- Files with his or her application a certificate signed by five respectable citizens of the county in which the applicant resides, stating that the applicant is “of full age, sobriety and good moral character,” has a good reputation for peace and good order, and that possession of a concealed deadly weapon by the applicant is necessary for the protection of the applicant or the applicant’s property, or both;
- Verifies his or her application by oath or affirmation in writing before a state-authorized officer, and states in writing that the applicant’s certificate and recommendations were read to or by its five signers and that the signatures are authentic; and
- For an applicant’s initial license only, files a notarized certificate signed by a firearms training instructor or other authorized representative noting that the applicant has satisfied state firearms training requirements (see the Firearms Safety Training subsection below for further information).3
The Prothonotary of the county in which an application for a license is filed must provide notice of the application by way of publication in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county at least 10 days before the next term of the Superior Court.4
In addition, the Prothonotary must provide the Superior Court all applications for licenses, and the court, at its discretion, may hear evidence and arguments for and against an application.5 Delaware’s Attorney General also has the power to issue, on a limited basis, a temporary license to carry concealed a deadly weapon to any individual who is not a Delaware resident, and whom the Attorney General determines has a short-term need to carry a weapon within the State in conjunction with that individual’s employment for the protection of person or property.6
The fee for an application for a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon is $65.7 Notwithstanding any other law or regulation, any license issued under these provisions is void and automatically repealed if the license holder becomes prohibited from owning, possessing or controlling a deadly weapon under state law.8
In N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that Delaware’s concealed carry permit system did not violate the Second Amendment because it contained “narrow, objective, and definite standards” guiding licensing officials and was designed “to ensure only that those bearing arms . . . are, in fact, law-abiding, responsible citizens.”9
Firearm Safety Training
An applicant for a concealed deadly weapon must file, with an initial license only, a notarized certificate signed by an instructor or authorized representative of a sponsoring agency, school, organization or institution certifying that the applicant: 1) has completed a firearms training course which contains at least the minimum training elements (listed below); and 2) is sponsored by a federal, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency, college, nationally recognized organization that customarily offers firearms training or a firearms training school with instructors certified by a nationally recognized organization that customarily offers firearms training.10
Firearms training courses must include instruction regarding:
- Knowledge and safe handling of firearms;
- Safe storage of firearms and child safety;
- Knowledge and safe handling of ammunition;
- Safe storage of ammunition and child safety;
- Safe firearms shooting fundamentals;
- Federal and state laws pertaining to the lawful purchase, ownership, transportation, use and possession of firearms;
- State laws pertaining to the use of deadly force for self-defense; and
- Techniques for avoiding a criminal attack and how to manage a violent confrontation, including conflict resolution.
Delaware also requires that applicants complete live fire shooting exercises on a range, including the expenditure of a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition, and receive instruction identifying ways to develop and maintain firearm shooting skills.11
Duration & Renewal
An initial license to carry a concealed deadly weapon is valid for three years.12
Renewals are valid for a period of five years. Renewal applicants must file an affidavit stating that the carrying of a concealed deadly weapon remains necessary for personal protection or protection of the person’s property, or both, and the person possesses all the requirements for the issuance of a license. The Superior Court, upon good cause presented to it, may inquire into the renewal request and deny the same for good cause shown. The fee for renewal is $65.13
Disclosure or Use of Information
Every law enforcement officer of the state and of any political subdivision must transmit to the Delaware State Bureau of Identification (SBI) the fingerprints, photographs and other data prescribed by SBI’s Director for all individuals applying for a permit to carry concealed deadly weapons.14 Records which disclose the identity or address of any person holding a permit to carry a concealed deadly weapon are not considered public records under Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, and thus are not generally subject to public disclosure.15 All records relating to concealed deadly weapon permits shall be available to bona fide law-enforcement officers, however.16
Delaware’s Attorney General is required to publish on January 15th of each year a list of all states which have qualified for reciprocity of concealed weapon licenses/permits from Delaware.17 The list of states with which Delaware has established reciprocity can be found on the Delaware Department of Justice’s Concealed Deadly Weapons Reciprocity page.
Delaware gives full faith and credit to all state-authorized licenses/permits issued to the citizens of other states where the issuing states also give full faith and credit to licenses issued by Delaware, and where those licenses/permits afford a “reasonably similar degree of protection” as is provided by licensure in Delaware.18 The term “reasonably similar” does not preclude alternative or differing provisions nor a different source and process by which eligibility is determined. If there is evidence of a pattern of issuing licenses/permits to people convicted of felonies in another state, however, the Attorney General must not include that state on the list even if the law of that state is determined to be “reasonably similar.” The list is valid for one year and any removal of a state from the list may not occur without one year’s notice of such impending removal.19
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- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, §§ 1442.
- Full age is defined as 18 years or older. See Del. Code Ann. tit. 1, § 701.
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(a)(1)-(3).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, 1441(b).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(c), (d).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(k).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(a)(4). Additional application and background check requirements are detailed under Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441.
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(m).
- 142 S. Ct. 2111, 238 n.9 (2022).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(a)(3).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(a)(5).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 8507(a)(3).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 29, § 10002(g)(11).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(j).
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441(j).