I have been working on a summary of the course/training requirements for concealed carry permits across the United States recently. This has led me to examine in detail various state statutes and administrative codes covering CCW permitting.
Delaware is a “may issue” state, as indicated in the governing statute: “A person of full age and good moral character desiring to be licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon for personal protection or the protection of the person’s property may be licensed to do so” (11 Del. Code, Chapter 5, Sec. 1441).
In terms of ferreting out who is of “good moral character,” Delaware’s process has some unique elements.
First of all, “the person shall file, with the Prothonotary, a certificate of 5 respectable citizens of the county in which the applicant resides at the time of filing the application. The certificate shall clearly state that the applicant is a person of full age, sobriety and good moral character, that the applicant bears a good reputation for peace and good order in the community in which the applicant resides, and that the carrying of a concealed deadly weapon by the applicant is necessary for the protection of the applicant or the applicant’s property, or both.”
The second requirement was, to me, even more interesting. Although I cannot see this language in the Delaware Code, the Superior Court of Delaware (which is responsible for issuing permits) includes the following in its instructions for an initial permit:
Arrange With a Newspaper of General Circulation in Your County (Newspaper selection must have a circulation of at least 35% of the population in your zip code.)
- Have your application published once, at least (10) business days before the filing of your application.
- Obtain an affidavit from the newspaper company stating that this requirement has been met.
- Attach the newspaper company’s affidavit to your application.
- Be sure to use your whole name – no initials – and your home address.
Presumably this is to allow fellow citizens to object to a person’s application for a permit, but it is also clearly a general disincentive, having to provide one’s name and home address.
Not surprisingly, given these requirements, only about 5,000 of Delaware’s approximately one million residents (0.5%) have permits to carry concealed weapons in the state.