Delaware: State Parks Are OK for Permitless Open Carry — Except Where They Aren’t

“Delaware is an open carry state,” opencarry.org reports. “Those doing so should be aware that any local ordinances that were in effect at the time that preemption was passed (July 4, 1985) are still in effect and are NOT preempted.” So The Blue Hen State is open carry — except where it isn’t. (Good luck finding a list of towns that ban the practice.) As whyy.com  reports, the state’s Supreme Court has applied the same sort of formula to carrying in a state park . . .

The interim rules come just a few weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled that a decades-old ban on guns in Delaware parks violates the state’s constitutional right “to keep and bear arms.”

But armed visitors won’t be allowed in park offices, visitor centers, nature centers and group camping areas — unless they are licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon.

“A risk of harm from gunfire would be presented in these and other areas where large numbers of visitors gather, including families and children,” according to the order issued by Carney administration officials.

In other areas of the parks, anyone not prohibited from carrying a gun is free to carry their weapons.

So Diamond State residents can now carry a firearm — without a permit — on their own property, private property (with the owner’s consent) and in the wilds of a state park — and nowhere else.

However, if the “may issue” First State deigns to recognize a resident’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms with a government-issued, taxpayer-funded permission slip, the permitted resident can carry in state park offices, visitor centers, nature centers and group camping areas.

Elsmere, Delware's town park (courtesy townofelsmere.com)

Open carry as well? I guess that depends on whether or not the state park in question banned the practice before Independence Day, 1985. Like, Elsmere’s town park [above], that continues to ban open or concealed carry, permitted or not.

And just so you know, Wilmington bans short-barreled rifles SBRs within city limits, regardless of any federally issued tax stamp for same.

All of which reminds us of one simple fact: there’s nothing simple about gun control laws. Except that they are all a danger to liberty and clearly, irredeemably unconstitutional.

comments

  1. avatar LarryinTX says:

    You forgot “and they accomplish nothing positive”.

  2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Sounds like another good place to avoid. I didn’t have any plans to visit there, of course, but this would cinch it. I don’t go anywhere my gun is not welcome, much less to a place that makes you play “Clue” with jail time as the prize.

    1. avatar binder says:

      About the same as Texas, I hope you are not planning on going there

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Actually, I’m not planning on traveling anywhere. Maybe to South Dakota to see a doctor, but OC is perfectly acceptable there.

        I lived for a short time in the NE part of Texas, and loved it. But I was only 9 years old at the time, so I wasn’t armed anyway. The people we stayed with, however, WERE. That was long before the “law” got involved much at all in the lives of armed rural people. No idea how it is now. But all those hard scrabble farms are probably long gone.

  3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    I really dislike the “mother may I” aspect to our civil rights.

  4. avatar FedUp says:

    But armed visitors won’t be allowed in park offices, visitor centers, nature centers and group camping areas — unless they are licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon.

    Will they provide a shelf outside to put your sidearm on while you go into the office to pay for your campsite, or do you have to leave it on the sidewalk and hope nobody steps on it?

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    Delaware carry rules are pretty complex but if you are from out of state with a permit from a reciprically recognizes state you’re good to go.
    The People who pay taxes and live in Delaware don’t get to carry with non resident permits though. Beau Biden tweaked the regulations years ago to close that loophole.
    Open carry is legal in Delaware only because it’s not illegal. At some point the hoplophobes in Dover will get around to outlawing that too.

    1. avatar greymas says:

      Although a “may issue” state, DE will issue you a firearm if you apply and have nothing bad on your record. You need to list your name in the The Delaware News Journal (News Urinal), take a class and provide 5 references from your county. In spite of these hurdles to your rights, it is not like neighboring Maryland, or New Jersey where only the well connected get licenses.

  6. avatar GS650G says:

    That park in Elsmere is a known drug market. Lots of shootings too. I guess the criminals didn t know about the rules.

  7. avatar Jared says:

    1. Delaware’s preemption is retroactive. They removed the grandfathering provision in exchange for public buildings to be able to ban carry exempt for CWDL holders (or reciprocal licenses).

    2. Beau Biden didn’t do anything. Delaware’s reciprocity law for the past 15 years (passed in 2002) never provided for Delaware residents to be able to carry concealed in Delaware.

  8. avatar Owen says:

    So much FUD Robert where do I start?

    You can open carry almost anywhere in DE. Even the DE GFSZ law is less restrictive than the federal one. The extrapolation that if it existed before 1985 is for LAWS not rules. The parks mistake was to make firearms rules when they have no statutory authority to do so.

    Yeah, I OC in DE every day.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email