Saturday certificates of possession for assault weapons coming as early as this weekend.
The law bans the sale of assault weapons but does not affect the status of guns purchased before June 30, 2022.
Assault weapons are generally defined as military-style weapons that can be converted to automatic weapons or made more lethal with large ammunition magazines. The weapons have often been used in waves of mass shootings at churches, synagogues, malls and schools.
The law is being challenged in courts by the National Rifle Association and allied groups. In Delaware, opponents have cited the lack of such shootings in the state as an argument against the ban. In Delaware, weapons have been found in the possesion of drug dealers and others engaged in criminal activities.
The act calls for the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue voluntary certificates of possession to individuals who meet the purchase exception.
Individuals lawfully possessing an assault weapon pursuant are not required to request a certificate of possession. Still, the Act provides that the certificates of possession constitute “conclusive evidence” that a person lawfully possessed or had completed a purchase of an assault weapon before June 30, 2022, and is entitled to possess and transport the weapon on or after that date.
The department will offer certificates of possession to Delaware residents at the locations and on the dates below.
What to do
- To receive a certificate of possession, residents must present the following documentation:
- A valid Delaware driver’s license, Delaware identification card, or United States passport.
- A dated bill of sale, receipt of purchase, or record of transfer from a licensed firearms dealer for weapons that were purchased that reflect a completed sale or possession prior to June 30, 2022.
- For inherited weapons, a will or other documentation substantiating that the weapon was received through inheritance.
- DSHS will not maintain any record of the issuance of the certificate, as required by the act.
- Residents must bring the weapons for which the certificate of possession is sought, but all weapons must be unloaded and left secured in their vehicles. Residents must enter the buildings unarmed.
Those with assault weapons are asked to review 83 Del. Laws, c. 328, § 1 for more information the Act. For questions, residents can call (302) 744-2680 or send an email to: DEFirearmSafetyAct2022@delaware.gov