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Top 10 Things to Know: Delaware's New "Permit to Purchase a Handgun" Requirement and the Lawsuit Defending Your Rights

Updated: May 20

New gun laws in Delaware, picture of Delaware legislative building.
Everything you need to know about the new Permit to Purchase a handgun law in Delaware

When does the law go into effect?

Don’t worry, this new law isn’t hitting us overnight. It’s set to roll out either 18 months from the enactment date or once the state gets its ducks in a row—whichever takes longer. So, you've got some time to prepare (or, you know, stock up).


What is the new law?

Delaware has enacted a law requiring individuals to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun. This law aims to enhance safety by ensuring that all purchasers meet specific criteria before acquiring a handgun. However, many believe it adds unnecessary bureaucracy and infringes on Second Amendment rights.


Who issues the permit?

The State Bureau of Identification (SBI) is your go-to for this permit. You’ll need to submit your application directly to them. They have 30 days to process your application and either issue the permit or provide a reason for denial.


Who needs a permit?

All individuals wishing to purchase a handgun must obtain a permit, with exceptions for certain groups like law enforcement officers, retired officers, and Delaware concealed carry permit holders.


How to apply?

Applicants must complete an application form with personal information and submit it to the SBI along with proof of completion of a state-approved firearms training course. The SBI will take fingerprints and conduct a background check, including contacting local law enforcement agencies for additional information if needed.


Training requirements?

Applicants must complete a state-approved firearms training course. This course covers safe handling, storage, and operation of a handgun, similar to the training required for obtaining a concealed carry permit. The course includes live fire training with at least 100 rounds fired.


Permit validity?

The handgun purchase permit is valid for two years from the date of issuance. Permit holders must reapply before the permit expires if they wish to continue purchasing handguns.


Exemptions?

Exemptions include active and retired law enforcement officers, Members of the Armed Forces, certain certified professionals, and Delaware concealed carry permit holders. For a full list, see the bill. The requirements for the handgun permit closely mirror those for the concealed carry permit, making it advantageous to apply for a concealed carry permit.


Getting a concealed carry permit not only covers the handgun purchase permit requirements but also allows you to buy magazines with more than 17 rounds, has a longer validity (five years), and lets you legally carry concealed. Read more about why you should get your Delaware Concealed Carry Permit and How to Get your Delaware Concealed Carry Permit.


Application denial?

Your application can be denied for reasons like being underage, having a criminal record, or not completing the required training. If denied, you’ll receive a notice explaining why, and you have the right to appeal the decision within 30 days.


Permit Renewal?

Don’t forget to renew your permit before it expires. You’ll need to submit updated information and proof that you still meet all the requirements. The renewal process is similar to the initial application.


For read the full text of the engrossed version of the bill here.


X-Ring Supply: At X-Ring Supply, we’re all about helping you get set up for concealed carry. We offer holsters, belts, mag carriers, red dots, weapon-mounted lights, night sights, and more. Plus, we’ll install everything for you if you buy it from us. Swing by and let us get you geared up!


Summary of the Lawsuit Filed Against the New Law

The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association (DSSA), along with individual plaintiffs and the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club, has filed a lawsuit challenging the new permit-to-purchase law. Here’s the scoop on their lawsuit:


Violates the Second Amendment

The plaintiffs argue that this law infringes on your fundamental right to keep and bear arms. Requiring a permit to buy a handgun? That’s an undue burden.


Contradicts the Delaware Constitution

Delaware’s Constitution gives even broader protections than the U.S. Constitution when it comes to bearing arms. This permit requirement? Totally against Article I, Section 20, which protects your right to bear arms for self-defense, hunting, and recreation.


Lacks Historical Precedent

The lawsuit points out that there’s no historical precedent for requiring a permit to buy a handgun. According to the Supreme Court’s decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, any firearm regulation must align with historical tradition. This law doesn’t.


Fourth Amendment Concerns

The law allows the State Police to confiscate firearms if your permit is revoked. The plaintiffs argue this violates your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.


Economic Discrimination

Not everyone can afford the training and fees needed to get a permit. The lawsuit claims this law discriminates against economically disadvantaged folks. Early versions of the bill had a voucher program to help make permits obtainable for the poor, but the voucher program was scrapped entirely once the state legislature saw the price tag.


Immediate Legal Action

The plaintiffs want the court to block the law from being enforced and declare it unconstitutional.


Support for DSSA

We at X-Ring Supply proudly back the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association in this fight. We stand up for the rights of law-abiding citizens to purchase and own firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes. If you are not already a member, it is only $25 a year to join, sign up now!

You can read the full complaint here.

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