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Know the Laws: Delaware

UPDATED April 12, 2017

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WomensLaw.org strongly recommends that you get help from an organization in your area if you are dealing with an issue involving firearms.  To find help in your state, please click on the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

More Information and Where to Get Help

back to topI do not have an order of protection from abuse and s/he has not been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or felony. Can his/her gun be taken away?

Aside from it being illegal for people convicted of certain violent crimes or someone with an order of protection against him/her to have a gun, it is also illegal under Delaware state law for the following people to possess a deadly weapon (firearm, knife, or dangerous instrument):*

  • any person who has been committed to any hospital, mental institution or sanitarium for a mental disorder;
  • anyone who was convicted of the unlawful use, possession or sale of a narcotic, dangerous drug, central nervous system depressant or stimulant, or controlled substance;
  • anyone under age 25 who has been convicted as a juvenile of a crime that would be a felony if s/he were an adult;
  • anyone who is a juvenile and possesses a handgun, unless it is for the purposes of lawful hunting/sporting activity and s/he is under the supervision of an adult;
  • anyone who knows that s/he is the defendant or co-defendant in a felony criminal case and has failed to appear for a court proceeding (a "fugitive from justice"); or
  • any person, if the deadly weapon is a semi-automatic or automatic firearm, or a handgun, who, at the same time, possesses a controlled substance (drug).*

If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Staying Safe page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit the DE State and Local Programs page under the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.

For additional information on gun laws in Delaware, you can go to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website.

* 11 Del. Code § 222(5)
** 11 Del. Code § 1448(a)(2)-(5),(8)-(9)

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back to topI read through all of this information, and I'm still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing.  There are people who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111 x 2.
  • You can contact us by writing to our Email Hotline.
  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area.

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