Delaware prohibits any person from making, selling, transferring, purchasing, receiving or possessing a “destructive weapon,” including any machine gun or firearm that is adaptable for use as a machine gun.1 This prohibition does not apply to: 1) members of the U.S. military or a police force in Delaware duly authorized to carry a machine gun; or 2) persons possessing machine guns for scientific or experimental research and development purposes, which firearms have been duly registered under the National Firearms Act of 1968 (26 U.S.C. § 5801 et seq.).2
Delaware defines a machine gun as any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger, including the frame or receiver of a machine gun, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.3
Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.4 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.5
Delaware prohibits any person from making, selling, transferring, purchasing, receiving or possessing bump stocks, trigger cranks, or any rapid fire device6 which are firearm accessories that can significantly increase its rate of fire to function similarly to a machine gun. In October, 2017, a shooter used multiple bump stock devices in an attack on concert-goers in Las Vegas to perpetrate the deadliest mass shooting attack in modern history.
Delaware defines a “bump stock” as “an after-market device that increases the rate of fire achievable with a semi-automatic rifle by using energy from the recoil of the weapon to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger.”7 It defines a “trigger crank” as “an after-market device designed and intended to be added to a semi-automatic rifle as a crank operated trigger actuator capable of triggering multiple shots with a single rotation of the crank.”8
See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1444(a).[↩]
- Del. Code Ann. tit 11, § 1444(b).[↩]
- Id. at (c).[↩]
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).[↩]
- Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).[↩]
- A rapid fire device is defined as a part, kit, tool, accessory, or device that increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm to a rate of fire that mimics the rate of fire of a machine gun.[↩]
- Del. Code. Ann. tit 11, § 1444(a)(6)(a).[↩]
- Del. Code. Ann. tit 11, § 1444(a)(6)(b).[↩]