Know the Laws: Delaware
UPDATED December 2, 2012
WomensLaw.org strongly recommends that you get help from an organization in your area if you are dealing with an issue involving firearms. To find help in your state, please click on the Where to Find Help tab at the top of this page.
No. Under federal law, if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence misdemeanor, s/he cannot have or buy a gun.* In addition, Delaware state law also makes it illegal for someone convicted in DE or elsewhere of a felony, a crime of violence involving physical injury to another, or any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.** If you're not sure if the abuser has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, see What crimes are considered domestic violence misdemeanors? for the federal definition. For the DE state law definition, go to our DE Statutes page, and read section (a)(7) of 11 Del. Code § 1448.
* 18 USC 922 (g)(9)
** 11 Del. Code § 1448(a)
To see the definition of a domestic violence misdemeanor under federal law, you can read about it on our federal law section.
If you're not sure if a certain crime counts as a domestic violence misdemeanor, you can contact the National Center on Full Faith and Credit at 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2
Delaware specifically defines a domestic violence misdemeanor as one of the crimes listed below that is committed by:
A felony under Federal law is a crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year.*
*18 USC 227 (A) 3559
No. Law enforcement officers and other government officials who have been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or felony cannot have or buy guns for any purpose, including their official duties, according to federal law.*
*18 USC 925 (a) (1)
Domestic Violence misdemeanor and felony records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where your abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records.
Domestic violence misdemeanor and felony records are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS). However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NCIS. Your local police department may be willing to search NCIS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.
To read more about the NCIS, please see the question, What will happen if my abuser tries to purchase a gun?