Delaware prohibits any juvenile from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon while in or on a “Safe School and Recreation Zone.”1

Delaware prohibits any person from committing any of the following state offenses in or on a “Safe School and Recreation Zone:”

  • Carrying a concealed deadly weapon, including a concealable firearm (state law does not exempt concealed weapons permit holders from this prohibition);
  • Possessing a destructive weapon; or
  • Possession and purchase of deadly weapons by a person prohibited from such activities.2

A “Safe School and Recreation Zone” is defined as:

  • Any building, structure, athletic field, sports stadium or real property owned, operated, leased or rented by any public or private school including, but not limited to, any kindergarten, elementary, secondary or vocational-technical school, or any college or university, within 1,000 feet thereof;
  • Any motor vehicle owned, operated, leased or rented by any public or private school including, but not limited to, any kindergarten, elementary, secondary or vocational-technical school, or any college or university; or
  • Any building or structure owned, operated, leased or rented by any county or municipality, or the state, or any board, agency, commission, department, corporation or other entity thereof, or any private organization, which is utilized as a recreation center, athletic field or sports stadium.3

Affirmative defenses to these prohibitions include:

  • Weapons possessed pursuant to an authorized course of school instruction, or for the purpose of engaging in any school-authorized sporting or recreational activity;4 or
  • That the prohibited conduct took place entirely within a private residence, and that no person under age 18 was present in such private residence at any time during the commission of the offense.5

In Delaware, any elementary or secondary school student who possesses a firearm or other deadly weapon in a “Safe School and Recreation Zone” shall be expelled by the local school board or charter school board of directors for a period of not less than 180 days unless otherwise provided for in federal or state law. The local school board or charter school board of directors may, on a case by case basis, modify the terms of the expulsion.6

Delaware requires certain institutions of higher learning to publish rules and regulations governing the possession and use of firearms on campus by employees, students and visitors.7

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(a). ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(a), (b). ⤴︎
  3. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(c). ⤴︎
  4. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(f). ⤴︎
  5. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(g). ⤴︎
  6. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(j)(5). For state administrative regulations implementing the federal Gun Free Schools Act, 20 U.S.C. § 7151, see 14-600-603 Del. Code Regs. §§ 1.0 – 3.0. ⤴︎
  7. Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 9004(b)(6). ⤴︎