Delaware Gun Laws/Restrictions

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is being presented to the website users only as reference material to assist in the making of informed purchasing decisions; however, it is not intended to constitute legal advice nor counsel in determining compliance of the purchaser's Federal, State and Local gun laws, regulations and restrictions. has used reasonable effort in providing this information, from sources deemed reliable, but does not warrant or guarantee the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or currency of the information contained herein, or linked to or from this website. The information provided here is presented as an overview to the myriad of laws, regulations and restrictions in selling to, and shipping into, the customer's State, to be in compliance of that State's laws pertaining to restrictions of: firearms, dangerous weapons, ammunition, magazine round capacities, stun guns, Tasers, accessories, etc. Federal, State and Local gun laws are constantly changing, therefore, it is incumbent upon the purchaser to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the current status of Federal, State and Local gun laws governing their community, to assure that they are in compliance with those laws, regulations and restrictions.


Code Sections

Title 11 §1444 & §1445, §1448

Types of Illegal Firearms

Possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of the below firearms is illegal:

  • Destructive weapons:
    • firearm silencers
    • sawed-off shotguns
    • machine guns or any other firearms which is adaptable for use as a machine gun
  • Dangerous weapons:
    • weapons compressed by air or spring which discharges pellet, slug, or bullet (except B.B. or airgun)

Waiting Period Before Purchase

  • None

Who May Not Own Guns

Delaware prohibits several different categories of individuals from owning or possessing pistols:

  • Those convicted of felony or crime of violence involving physical injury to another, whether or not having in his possession any weapon during commission of such crime;
  • Anyone ever committed for mental disorder to hospital, sanitarium, or mental institution;
  • Those convicted of unlawful use, possession, or sale of narcotic or dangerous drug;
  • Juvenile adjudicated as delinquent if conduct as adult would constitute a felony until 25th birthday;
  • Minors (under 18) (handgun, unless for recreational use while under adult supervision).

Laws Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

  • Felony. Title 11 §1457

It is lawful for a person residing in this State to purchase or otherwise obtain a rifle or shotgun in a State contiguous to this State and to receive or transport such rifle or shotgun into this State, subject however, to such other laws of the State or its political subdivision as may be applicable.

No permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Purchasers of rifles and shotguns must be 18 years old. Handgun purchasers must be 21 years old.

Prior to purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, a criminal history record check and an involuntary commitment of an adult record check is required. Purchases of shotguns and antique firearms (or replicas of antiques) are exempted from the background check requirement, as are purchases by law enforcement personnel. Persons prohibited from possessing firearms are prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Any dealer who transfers firearms between private parties may charge a reasonable fee not to exceed $20.00 to cover the cost of the background check.

It is unlawful to transfer to a person under 18 any firearm or ammunition without permission from a parent or guardian.

Firearms Restrictions
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Machine guns or any other firearms which is adaptable for use as a machine gun.
  • Firearm with an altered, or removed, serial mark or identification number.
  • Weapons compressed by air or spring which discharges pellet, slug, or bullet (except B.B. or airgun).
Stun Guns/Tasers Restrictions

State Statute or Definition: (222 Dangerous instrument or weapon definition, but legal.)

  • No restrictions
Accessories/Ammunition Restrictions

Devices made or adapted to muffle the report of firearm (firearm silencers).


There is no state licensing requirement for the possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

The following persons are prohibited from purchasing or possessing any firearm:

  • Convicted felons.
  • Those convicted of a crime of violence involving bodily injury to another, including misdemeanors, but the prohibition shall not apply after five years from the date of conviction for misdemeanors.
  • Those convicted of an offense involving a narcotic, dangerous drug, or controlled substance.
  • Those who have ever been committed to a mental institution, sanitarium or hospital for mental disorder and do not possess a certificate of rehabilitation.
  • Children under 16 years of age, unless under the direct supervision of an adult.
  • A person adjudicated as delinquent for conduct which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, unless and until that person has reached age 25.

It is a felony to knowingly give a firearm to a person prohibited from possessing a firearm. It is a felony to purchase a firearm on behalf of a person prohibited from possessing a firearm, or to purchase with the intent to transfer, give, or sell a firearm to a person prohibited from possessing it. It is unlawful for a parent to permit his or her child under 16 years of age to possess a firearm (whether operable or inoperable) or air or BB gun except under the direct supervision of an adult. It is a misdemeanor for anyone to possess any air gun or spring-fired gun firing or projecting anything larger than a BB shot.


Possession of a machine gun or any other firearm or weapon, which is adaptable for use as a machine gun, is a felony. Persons may possess machine guns for scientific or experimental research and development purposes provided such machine guns have been registered under the provisions of the National Firearms Act.

The provisions regarding machine guns do not apply to members of the military forces or to members of a police force in Delaware authorized to carry machine guns.

Any firearm manufactured before 1899 or any replica of such firearm that does not fire fixed ammunition or uses fixed ammunition no longer manufactured in the U.S. and which is no longer readily available in the ordinary channels of commerce is exempt from the background check for purchasers, however, it is a firearm for all other purposes.

It is a felony to knowingly transport or possess any firearm manufactured after 1973 on which the serial number has been altered or obliterated.

It is unlawful to shoot across a road or within 15 yards of a road, or within 100 yards of an occupied building or barn or “other building used in connection therewith.”

It is unlawful to recklessly or negligently leave a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a person under 18 and where such person obtains the firearm and uses it to inflict serious physical injury or death upon himself or any other person. However, it is an affirmative defense that:

  • the firearm was stored in a locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure from access to a minor;
  • the minor obtained the firearm as the result of an unlawful entry by any person; or
  • the serious physical injuries or death to the minor or any other person resulted from a target or sport shooting accident or hunting accident.

Municipal governments shall enact no law restricting or licensing ownership, transfer, possession, or transportation of firearms or ammunition.


Del. Code, Ann. 7-709, 7-726, 7-730, 11-222,11-1441 et seq., 22-838, 24-901, et seq.

Last edited: 6/8/2016