Delaware prohibits a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than 18 years old from knowingly, intentionally or with criminal negligence contributing to or failing to prevent the unlawful possession or purchase of a firearm by a juvenile.1 A defendant may raise as an “absolute” defense to charges for violation of this provision that he or she: 1) had a lock on the trigger of the firearm and did not tell or show the juvenile where the key to the trigger lock was kept; or 2) locked the firearm in a key or combination locked container and did not tell or show the juvenile where the key was kept or what the combination was.2

Delaware does not require a locking device to accompany the sale of a firearm, although federal law applies, and no state statutes require firearm owners to affirmatively lock their weapons.

See our Locking Devices policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 603. A juvenile is a person less than 18 years of age. Del. Code Ann. Del. Code Ann. tit. 1, § 701. ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 603. ⤴︎