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Delaware State Constitution Article I. § 20. Right to keep and bear arms. 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.
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Delaware Criminal Code Title 11, Part I, Chapter 2. General Provisions Concerning Offenses § 202. All offenses defined by statute. (a) No conduct constitutes a criminal offense unless it is made a criminal offense by this Criminal Code or by another law. (b) This section does not affect the power of a court to punish for civil contempt or to employ any sanction authorized by law for the enforcement of an order or a civil judgment or decree.
Because Delaware state law only regulates the carrying of a concealed deadly weapon, the open carry of a firearm is lawful. As stated by former Delaware Attorney General Charles M. Oberly, III, "Under current Delaware law, virtually anyone, excepting felons, may strap on a holster and carry a gun in plain view. You can even carry a rifle over your shoulder and walk around with it."
Argument has been made that law enforcement could arrest a person for Disorderly Conduct; however, the statute reads as such:
Code: Select allHowever, the emphasis, added by myself requires intent to cause alarm. In addition to that intent, a person must also exhibit one of the behaviors defined in a-g. The two relevant subsections (a) requires threatening behavior, which the peaceable carrying of firearms is not and (f), creating a hazardous condition without a legitimate purpose -- as stated in the Constitution of the state of Delaware, self-defense is a legitimate purpose in our view.
Title 11, Part I, Chapter 5, Subchapter VII. Crimes Against Public Health, Order and Decency § 1301. Disorderly conduct; unclassified misdemeanor. A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when: (1) The person ***intentionally*** causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person, or creates a risk thereof by: a. ***Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior***; or b. Making an unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or addressing abusive language to any person present; or c. Disturbing any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority; or d. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or e. Congregating with other persons in a public place and refusing to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or f. ***Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose***; or g. Congregating with other persons in a public place while wearing masks, hoods or other garments rendering their faces unrecognizable, for the purpose of and in a manner likely to imminently subject any person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States of America. (2) The person engages with at least 1 other person in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in subdivision (1) of this section which is likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, and refuses or knowingly fails to obey an order to disperse made by a peace officer to the participants.
Delaware Open Carry, Founder
Delaware Open Carry, Founder