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Legal Information: Delaware

State Gun Laws

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March 26, 2024

I have an emergency ex parte order against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away?

Possibly.  Delaware law allows a judge to order “any appropriate relief” in an ex parte order, including the protections that can be ordered in a final order.1   In a final order of protection from abuse, a judge can write into the order that the abuser cannot buy or possess any firearms while the order is in effect and that s/he has to surrender his/her firearms to the sheriff, constable or to a police officer.  The judge also has the power to issue an order directing any law-enforcement agency to search for and seize (take) the abuser’s firearms if certain circumstances are met.  See I have an order of protection from abuse against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? for more information.2

Federal law may also prohibit the abuser from having a firearm while a temporary order is in effect but only if it is not an ex parte order.  If the judge gave you an ex parte temporary protective order (which means that no advance notice was given to the abuser), which is commonly done, it could still be legal for him/her to have a gun under federal law.  However, if the judge scheduled a court hearing and gave notice of the hearing to the abuser before giving you the temporary order, it is possible that it is illegal for him/her to have a gun under federal law.  The protective order must also meet certain other requirements, though.  Read I have a final order of protection against the abuser. Can his/her gun be taken away? (in our Federal Gun Laws section) to find out more.

1 10 Del Code § 1043(e)
2 10 Del. Code § 1045(a)(8),(11)