Senate Bill 85
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Senate Judiciary 4/19/23
Awaiting consideration in Committee
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9, TITLE 10, TITLE 11, TITLE 22, AND TITLE 24 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CARRYING A CONCEALED DEADLY WEAPON.
On June 23, 2022, in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), the United States Supreme Court completely and dramatically changed the manner in which state-level gun laws are to be evaluated for constitutional sufficiency. Although not directly addressed in a definitive fashion the way other states' concealed carry laws were, Delaware's concealed carry law was mentioned by the Court in a manner signaling that certain flaws in our law must be immediately addressed. This Act is designed to address those issues raised by the Bruen decision in a manner meant to save Delaware's concealed carry law from a successful constitutional challenge. This Act addresses current constitutional deficiencies while maintaining public safety issues unique to Delaware. Section 20 of Article I of the Delaware Constitution guarantees that “a person has the right to keep and bear arms for defense of self, family home and state…”. Both the United States Supreme Court and the Delaware Supreme Court have recognized the right of self-defense to be fundamental and to have pre-dated the formation of our country. As of 2020, there were over 18,600,000 Americans with concealed carry permits and 24,400,000 adults living in states where no permit is required to carry a concealed firearm, which is a 420% increase in the number of adults living in states allowing the public carrying of a firearm since 1988. As of the beginning of 2021, there were 18 states where no permits were required to carry a concealed firearm, 25 states that were considered “shall issue” permit states, and 9 states that were considered “may issue” permit states. This Act brings Delaware law concerning the carrying of concealed deadly weapons into conformity with Section 20 of Article I of the Delaware Constitution by allowing a person who is 21 years of age or older and not a prohibited person under either Delaware law or the laws of the United States to carry a deadly weapon concealed on or about their person for the purpose of defending self, family, home, and State. In addition, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual and conforming amendments in other provisions of the Delaware Code to account for the removal of the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon.
Takes effect upon being signed into law