Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2022 ‘State Right to Bear Arms in Delaware.’ Other Laws & Policies. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 26 June
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]
State Right to Bear Arms in Delaware
Article I, § 20 of the Delaware Constitution states: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use."
In Short v. State, the Supreme Court of Delaware rejected defendant's article I, § 20 challenge to Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1448, which prohibits the possession of a deadly weapon by a convicted felon. The court noted that "[c]ourts throughout the country… have uniformly ruled that the right to bear arms as guaranteed in various state constitutions… may be subject to reasonable restrictions for the public safety, including limitations on possession by persons with criminal records."
In Smith v. State, the Supreme Court of Delaware rejected an article I, § 20 challenge to Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1441, which requires a permit for the carrying of a concealed weapon. The court rejected defendant's argument that article I, § 20 entitles a person to conceal the weapon that he or she carries…