Q: Is it legal?
A: It's lawful. While there are statutes that restrict the carrying of concealed weapons, there is no law that makes illegal the open carrying of firearms and this right is protected by Article I, Section 20 of the Delaware State Constitution. In essence, if a law does not explicitly forbid a behavior, it is, de facto, lawful.
Q: Is this group just for people who want to open carry?
A: Not really, no. While the majority of us do open carry, there are still others who prefer to conceal. We don't demand, nor expect everyone to open carry; however, if you're legally allowed to carry, we do ask that you do, regardless of your preference. Exercise your right and keep your family safe. We invite anyone who carrys in any way -- or not at all -- to join us on our forums to talk.
Q: I'm not comfortable with it. What about my right to feel safe?
A: Your right to feel safe does not trump my right to keep and bear arms. Much like my freedom to believe in Christianity doesn't trump your right to speak about Buddhism. However, as a property owner, you are more than welcome to ask someone to leave your home or business.
Q: Where can I open carry?
A: It's probably better to list where you can't carry. State and National Parks and Forests are off limits as well as detention areas such as court houses, police stations and prisons. New Castle County has an illegal ordinance prohibiting possession of firearms in county parks -- we're currently pressuring the county council to change it. Title 11, Chapter 5, § 1457 allows you to conceal your weapon onto school grounds with a license or open carry without. However, there is the federal Gun Free School Zone Act which only exempts you if you're licensed by the state in which the zone resides. It's been suggested that Delaware's slot casinos are off-limits as are all federal buildings; however, we cannot verify this in law. Also, Post Offices are in a state of flux. Err on the side of caution and do not carry there for the time being. Some municipalities prohibit open carry on their property or during the course of municipal government meetings.
Be sure to download our Delaware Firearms Law document that is a compendium of related Delaware laws pertaining to firearms and open/concealed carry.
Q: How old must I be?
A: You're allowed to open carry and apply for a CCDW license at age 18. You must be 21 to purchase a handgun.
Q: Aren't you afraid someone will take your weapon?
A: Always. Those of us who open carry generally use specially designed holsters that offer some level of retention, by where the gun is locked into place until a button is pushed, a thumb break is required or a combination of both. In addition, while carrying, we don't engage in activities that that leave us in Condition White. We vigilantly strive to be aware of our surroundings.
Q: Isn't it better, tactically, to conceal a firearm?
A: Only if you're already in a confrontation -- the element of suprise may aid you. However, as former Delaware Attorney General Charles M. Oberly, III stated, "I never understood why someone making night deposits felt safer with a concealed gun rather than carrying a holstered gun in plain view. Common sense would suggest a robber or mugger would be less likely to tangle with someone visibly carrying a weapon." We couldn't agree more.