ATTENTION GUN OWNERS & FUTURE GUN OWNERS: GET CONCEALED CARRY CERTIFIED BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

Delaware Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything you need to know about owning a firearm in the state of Delaware.

Delaware State Seal

Delaware Reciprocity Map

Delaware Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview

983K

STATE POPULATION

26K

LICENSES ISSUED

2.6%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

21

STATES HONORED

18

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

3 or 5

YEARS LICENSE VALID

30

RECIPROCATING STATES

NO

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

5

CC CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

What You Need to Do as a Gun Owner

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know the laws and your rights in each state that you plan to conceal carry. It is also essential to regularly review these laws as they may change. 

Delaware is home to 983,000 people. Permits are required in order to carry a concealed firearm in this state, and approximately 2.6% of the population has such a license. You must be at least 18 to get such a permit. Your initial license is valid for three years. Renewals are valid for five years. 

In order to get a permit in Delaware, you will need to complete a firearm training course. At Concealed Coalition, we offer the certified training programs you need to qualify for a permit under Delaware state laws. Contact us today to find online or local training for your state. 

Summary of Delaware Gun Laws

Delaware is a may-issue state, which means that the prothonotary office in the county to which you have applied has discretion over whether or not to approve your application, even if you meet the other qualifications. 

The Attorney General also has the authority to issue temporary concealed licenses to non-residents who need to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves, their property, or as per the terms of their employment. 

You do not need a license to purchase a firearm, and there is no required gun registration. However, you must go through a licensed dealer for the private transfers of firearms other than between family members. The purchasing party must undergo a background check and maintain a record of the sale. However, if the purchasing party has a valid Delaware Concealed Deadly Weapon License (CDWL), they are exempt from this requirement.

Open Carry in Delaware

Anyone who is legally allowed to possess a firearm is permitted to open carry in areas that are not off-limits. You are not allowed to carry in schools or detention centers. 

Concealed Carry in Delaware

Delaware residents must have a Delaware Concealed Carry Deadly Weapons (CCDW) for concealed carry, issued by the Attorney General. Non-residents must have a Concealed Carry Weapons permit from a state whose permits Delaware honors, or they must have a temporary permit through the Attorney General’s office. 

Self Defense Laws in Delaware

Delaware is a “castle doctrine” state with no duty to retreat inside your home or workplace. You do, however, have the duty to retreat outside your home or workplace. 

Use of Force

You are allowed the use of force if you have the reasonable expectation that it is necessary to protect yourself against the use of unlawful force, serious injury, death, sexual intercourse, or kidnapping, and are being compelled by the use of force by the perpetrating party. 

You may also use force to protect another person if you would be justified using force to protect yourself in their situation, the person you are protecting would be justified in the use of force if able, and intervention is necessary for their protection. There is no duty to retreat unless you know that it can be done safely into the third party’s dwelling or workplace. 

Force may be used when you have a reasonable belief that it is necessary to protect your possessions or property or those of a third person on whose behalf you are acting from illegal trespass, burglary, theft, or criminal mischief. 

Use of Deadly Force

The use of deadly force is only permitted if you have a reasonable belief that a person is attempting to dispossess you of your dwelling, or if a person is attempting to commit arson, robbery, felonious theft, burglary, or property destruction, AND has threatened or employed deadly force against you or another person, or there is a reasonable likelihood that they will cause serious bodily harm to yourself or another individual. 

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

Under Delaware state laws, you have the right to defend yourself and others with the use of force. However, your case will ultimately depend on how law enforcement agencies view your actions. That is why it is essential to receive proper training in gun safety. 

When you choose one of our training programs, we will help you understand and gauge when force is necessary, so you know how to act in accordance with the law if you are ever in a position in which you must defend yourself. 

Delaware Gun Laws by Statute

It’s essential for firearm owners in Delaware to remember that the following laws are subject to change without notice. The attorney general’s website has all the latest information and should be visited regularly by licensees.

Concealed Coalition is dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding gun ownership and promoting a culture of understanding and responsibility. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning with instructors who care.

Contact us today at (302) 212-0197 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs.

Quick Links

Firearms Training in Delaware with Concealed Coalition

CONCEALED CARRY BASICS IN DELAWARE

QUESTION

ANSWER

What States Have Reciprocity with Delaware?

Thirty states have reciprocity with Delaware, including: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Which States’ Permits Does Delaware Honor?

Delaware honors permits from states that honor Delaware permits, that offer a comparable process for issuing concealed carry permits to their own residents, and that do not issue licenses to felons. These states include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho (Enhanced permits only), Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota (Class 1 permits only), Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota (Enhanced permits only), Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia.

States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Delaware

Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. 

Does Delaware recognize constitutional carry?

No, Delaware does not allow constitutional carry. 

Is open carry permitted in Delaware?

Yes, anyone above the age of 18 is allowed to open carry a firearm without a license. 

If Delaware requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

These permits are issued on a may-issue basis through the prothonotary office of the county in which you are applying. 

What is the minimum age in Delaware to get a concealed carry license?

The minimum age is 18. 

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Delaware with a concealed carry license (or under permit-less carry if applicable)?

Yes. You may carry a folding knife with a blade of fewer than three inches. 

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Delaware?

Yes, with some exceptions, you may buy and possess both stun guns and tasers without a license, and you may conceal carry both as long as you have a CDWL or permit from a state whose permits Delaware recognizes. Both are illegal in Wilmington, Newark, and New Castle County.

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Delaware?

Yes, both are legal. However, it is illegal to assault a police officer with mace chemical spray or pepper spray while they are performing their duties or to use these items while committing a crime. 

Does Delaware have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No, it does not.  

Does Delaware have ammunition restrictions?

Delaware does not have state laws regarding ammunition restrictions, but Wilmington has a ban on armor-piercing ammunition. 

CONCEALED CARRY LOCATIONS IN DELAWARE

QUESTION

ANSWER

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Delaware?

Yes, with a valid state license or permit from a state honored by Delaware. You may transport a firearm without a permit as long as it is visible such as on the seat or dashboard, not in a glove box.

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Delaware?

Yes, with a valid state license or one that Delaware honors. 

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forest and Wildlife Management Areas in Delaware?

Yes, with the proper permits. However, some areas are posted off-limits. 

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Delaware?

Yes, unless the establishment has posted otherwise. You may not consume alcohol while in such an establishment. 

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Delaware?

That is up to the discretion of the hotel, though state law does not prohibit it. It is always best to contact the hotel ahead of time to determine what their policies are regarding concealed carry weapons. 

Does Delaware have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

There is no state law against storing firearms in an employee parking lot. It is up to the discretion of your employer to make policies regarding this.

IMPORTANT GUNS LAWS IN DELAWARE

QUESTION

ANSWER

Do you have a duty to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Delaware?

No, you do not have a duty to inform a police officer that you are carrying a concealed firearm. 

Are "No Weapons Allowed? signs enforced in Delaware? If, yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If, no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

These are not mentioned in state laws. 

Does Delaware have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e., Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes, there is full state preemption with limited exceptions. Counties may regulate the discharge of firearms and may regulate open carry in county buildings and police stations as long as these restricted areas are posted. However, if you have a concealed carry license, you may carry concealed firearms in those restricted areas. 

Does Delaware have a red flag law?

Yes. There is a red flag law in Delaware. A law enforcement agent or family member may file a petition to prohibit a person from purchasing, possessing, or having access to a firearm. 

Does Delaware state law define brandishing?

There is no law that defines brandishing. However, disorderly conduct laws apply if you engage in threatening or violent behavior while carrying a firearm. 

Does Delaware have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?

You may not carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol with a blood-alcohol level, or 0.08 or higher, or be under the influence of drugs in a public place. You are also not allowed to be under the influence of elicit or recreational drugs or alcohol, or any non-prescription drug to the extent that it would put you or others in danger or annoy people in the vicinity.  

Does Delaware issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

The Attorney General may only issue a concealed carry permit to a non-resident who needs such a permit for their employment, personal protection, or to protect their property. 

Does Delaware allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No, but these records are available to police officers. 

HANDGUN PURCHASE & POSSESSION IN DELAWARE

QUESTION

ANSWER

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Delaware?

No, you do not need a permit to purchase a firearm in Delaware. 

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Delaware?

Yes, with limited exceptions. This background check must be performed through a licensed dealer. 

Does my current Delaware concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase firearm? 

No, it does not.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Delaware?

No, there is no waiting period. 

Do handguns need to be registered in Delaware?

No. There is no handgun registration in Delaware. 

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Delaware?

You must be at least 18, with some exceptions. These exceptions include legal hunting, sporting, recreational, or instructional activities while under the supervision of an adult. 

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home in Delaware without a license? 

Yes. You are allowed to possess a firearm on your property without a permit as long as you are legally allowed to possess a firearm. 

DELAWARE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE INFORMATION

Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Delaware

An applicant must:

  • Meet all federal requirements
  • Be 18 years old
  • Complete an approved firearms training course with live fire
  • Have five references that reside in the same county that clearly state that said applicant has a reputation for peace, good order, and moral character, is of full age, and sobriety. References also must state that carrying a concealed firearm is necessary for the applicant’s protection or for the protection of their property. 
  • Publish their application in the local newspaper ten days before filing their application
  • Verify their application by oath or in writing before a state-authorized officer 
  • State in writing that the applicant’s five references read the applicant’s certificate and state that the signatures of the five signers are authentic
  • Never have been convicted of a felony or crime of violence in Delaware or anywhere else. 
  • Never been convicted of unlawful possession, use, or sale of a dangerous drug, central nervous system depressant or stimulant, or narcotic. 
  • Not subject to court-issued protection from abuse order 
  • Never have been adjudicated as delinquent as a juvenile for conduct which, if committed by an adult, would be considered a felony if the applicant is under the age of 25. 
  • Never have been committed to a mental healthcare facility or hospital for a mental disorder. 

Once filed, your application will be reviewed by the attorney general’s office and a court in the county where you filed the application. 

Fees:

There is a $65 fee for all applications. 

Valid For:

Your initial license will expire after three years. Renewals are valid for five years. 

Processing Time:

There is no set processing time in the state of Delaware. 

Applications:

You can find a link to the application here.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry License:

The Attorney General may issue temporary concealed carry licenses to non-residents that need to carry a concealed weapon for their job, personal protection, or protection of their property on a short-term basis. There is a limit to three per person.  

Name & Address Changes:

To request a name or address change on your license, you may send an informal letter to the court and attach a copy of your driver’s license, any applicable fees, and two passport-style images to the following address:

Superior Court of Delaware – NCC
500 N. King Street, Suite 500
Wilmington, DE 19801

The court will send your new license in the mail.

Lost or Stolen Licenses:

For lost or stolen licenses, you should contact your local prothonotary or court clerk’s office as soon as possible to determine the best course of action. 

Residency Changes:

If you are moving out of Delaware, your license will expire as soon as you establish residency in a new state. 

If you are moving to the state of Delaware, you may apply for a concealed carry license as soon as you obtain a new Delaware driver’s license. 

DELAWARE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS

Step One:

Complete a concealed carry training course with the certified instructors at Concealed Coalition. You can take your training class before you submit your application, or after the application is approved. 

Step Two:

Download and complete the application.

Step Three:

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. PLEASE 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 Four:

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 Five:

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 Six:

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 Seven:

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 Eight:

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.

Step Nine:

Your license will be issued.

DELAWARE CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS

Step One:

Renewals are the responsibility of the licensee. Renewal applications may be filed as early as January 2nd of the renewal year, but no later than June 1 of the year of license expiration. You must file the renewal application and a duplicate copy. You may hand deliver your application to the Prothonotary’s Office, or if all the requirements are met, mail to the Prothonotary’s Office in the County in which you reside.

Step Two:

Download and complete the application form.

Step Three:

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:

  • A complete copy of all the documents; and
  • Two passport-style photographs taken within the preceding 6-month period.

Pay the fee.

Step Four:

Your license will be issued.

Get Certified for a Delaware Concealed Carry Permit Today

If you are interested in acquiring a concealed carry permit for the state of Delaware, you will need to complete a firearms training course. Contact the team at Concealed Coalition, and we will be happy to help you get the training you need to safely and responsibly own a gun. 

Did we miss something?

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email info@concealedcoalition.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners! The information contained on this website is provided by Concealed Coalition as a service to its members and the public. The information on this page does not constitute legal advice. Our goal is to provide thorough, up-to-date information regarding concealed carry laws, reciprocity, and requirements. We make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. At the time of publishing the information contained in this page was correct and up-to-date. However, laws are constantly changing, and as a result, nothing contained on this website should be considered legal advice. Please consult a lawyer should you require legal advice regarding concealed carry and gun laws in your state. Did you know our membership includes a Pre-paid legal protection plan? Sign up today and gain access to 24/7 coverage from a team of legal experts?

Get Certified Today