Delaware Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Delaware

Delaware’s gun laws are quite permissive, and you can buy a rifle or handgun pretty quickly in the state. It is one of the easiest states in which you can buy a gun. You must be 18 to buy a rifle and 21 to purchase a handgun. Along with any felony convictions, if you have misdemeanor infractions, then you cannot buy a gun in the state of Delaware. Anyone with mental illness, which makes an explicit threat against someone else has to be reported to the authorities, and that person’s guns will be confiscated for at least 30 days. Delaware is a “May Issue” state, and only issues permits to residents. Each county’s Prothonotary Office issues permits to residents. Although most residents do apply for and obtain permits, they are not necessary, and you can open carry legal throughout the state except for schools, buses, courthouses, police stations, prisons, state wildlife preserves and parks and “SLOTS.”

State CCW Quick Facts

  • May Issue State gun policy
  • Yes Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes Carry In Restaurants
  • Yes/No – Without a Permit/License Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents License issued to
  • 28 # of states that honor Delaware license
  • 20 # of state licenses that Delaware honors
  • 3 Years license is valid
  • 65 $ cost of the license
  • 18 Minimum age for license permit

Delaware’s policy is May Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

Delaware CCW Reciprocity Map

Delaware offers reciprocity with other states and the states that honor a Delaware permit are:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Accordingly, Delaware honors these state permits as well: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Idaho honors an Idaho Enhanced permit; South Dakota honors a South Dakota Enhanced permit, and North Dakota honors a North Dakota Class 1 permit.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Delaware Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Delaware is a “May Issue” state and to qualify for a gun permit you need to be a resident of the state and be at least 18 years old. Initial permits are good for only three years then you can renew them for five years. Delaware is an open carry state, but almost no one observes that right without getting a permit. With a permit, you can carry one in your vehicle and to rest areas and most other areas of the state except for federally protected areas and school, government and police buildings and some other restricted areas. You cannot carry in state parks, but you also don’t have to notify an officer that you are carrying. You can bring your firearm into places that serve alcohol, and you don’t have to worry about “no weapons” signs, they are not legally enforceable. If you carry in your vehicle you have to have a permit otherwise, if it is concealed, you will earn a felony charge. If you do not have a license, make sure it is in plain sight. Never store your gun in the glove box.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

You must be at least eighteen when you apply for a concealed carry permit. You also have to have completed a firearms safety and training class before applying. You must also collect five character references proving you are sober, of good moral character, peaceful and follow all state and federal regulations. You will not be able to get a permit if you have any felonies or charges of violent behavior against you. You also cannot be the subject of a protective order or have any substance abuse charges on your record. If you have a mental illness, you cannot get a permit in Delaware. The cost of applying for a license is $65.

Delaware Gun Background Check

Because Delaware is not a “point of sale” state and does not require their own background check to purchase a firearm, licensed dealers must conduct one through the FBI’s NCIS system before selling to anyone. By federal law, it is illegal for a dealer to sell to anyone without an approved background check. If for some reason the FBI has not gotten back to the dealer and denied the application within 25 days, the dealer may sell to the buyer without approval.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

DE CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Complete a firearms training course.
  • Have five references from the county you reside in. 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.
  • Have never been convicted in Delaware or elsewhere of a felony or a crime of violence.
  • If under 25 years old have never been, as a juvenile, adjudicated as delinquent for conduct which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony.
  • Have never been convicted for the unlawful use, possession, or sale of a narcotic, dangerous drug, or central nervous system depressant or stimulant.
  • You are not subject to a Protection From Abuse Order issued by a court.
  • Have never been committed for a mental disorder to any hospital, mental institution, or sanitarium.
  • Federal law requirements

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Download the application from under the FORMS tab.
  2. Arrange with a newspaper of general circulation in your County to have your application published once, at least (10) 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: Newspaper selection must have a circulation of at least 35% of the population in your zip code. Be sure to use your whole name – no initials – and your home address.
  3. Arrange to be fingerprinted. Fingerprints must be taken within 45 days of filing application. Fingerprinting by Appointment Only. Appointments are ONLY Tuesday & Thursday noon to 6:30p.m. For an appointment call: (302)739-2528 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.
  4. Have the reference questionnaires completed by five (5) citizens from the County in which you reside.
  5. Complete the application and have it notarized.
  6. Include two (2) 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 color passport-style photographs of the applicant, taken within the six month period immediately preceding the filing of the application.
  7. Include the statutory filing fee of $65.00. Cash, money order or personal check, made payable to PROTHONOTARY will be accepted.
  8. New applications may be filed at any time. You must file the original set and a complete copy of all the documents. (DUPLICATE COPY) You may hand deliver your application to the Prothonotary Office, or, if all the requirements are met, mail to the Prothonotary Office in the County in which you reside:
  9. Following review of your application by the Attorney Generals Office and the Court, you will receive written notification as to whether your application has been denied or approved.
  10. If your application is approved, you must now complete an Approved Gun Course.
  11. Upon completion of the course please submit a notarized certification of satisfactory completion of the firearm training course.
  12. If you can not complete the course within 90 days of the approval of your gun permit, please submit proof that you have enrolled in the course.

CCW Renewal

  • Renewals are valid for 5 years.

DE Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
License to carry a concealed deadly weapon (handgun)$65.00$65.00 (Renewals valid for 5 years)$65.00 (fingerprint and criminal history record check fee)

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Delaware

Road side rest areasPolice stations
VehicleSchool Bus
All areas of the state not listed as ForbiddenState approved “SLOTS”
Prisons and other detention facilities
Wildlife Management Areas
Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law

Delaware CCW Contact

Delaware Bureau of Firearms


Wilmington Office
Monday – Friday:8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Dover Office
Monday – Friday:8:00 am - 4:30 pm


Wilmington Office
Address:Delaware Department of Justice
Carvel State Building
820 N. French St.
City:Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone:(302) 577-8500

Dover Office
Address:Delaware Department of Justice
102 W. Water Street
City:Dover, DE 19904
Phone:(302) 739-4211

CCW Licensing Offices in Delaware

New Castle County - Delaware Department of Justice

Office Address
Special Investigations Unit, 5th floor 820 N. French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

(302) 255-0556

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Kent County Prothonotary's Office

Office Address
CCDW Permit Unit 38 The Green Street Dover, DE 19901 GPS Address Kent County Courthouse 414 Federal Street Dover, DE 19901

(302) 735-1901

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Sussex County Prothonotary's Office

Office Address
CCDW Permit Unit 1 The Circle, Suite 2, Georgetown, DE 19947

(302) 854-6959

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Reference Links

Counties in Delaware