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New rules on guns in parks to be published next month

Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture are releasing new regulations on guns in parks next month.

It comes after last year’s ruling by the Delaware Supreme Court that previous regulations were unconstitutional.

DNREC plans to release new proposed rules on gun in parks and conservation areas Feb. 1st. The rules will restrict open carry in areas like swimming pools, stadiums and museums. But the rules will allow conceal carrying as long as visitors can show their permit upon request.

DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said these interim rules will stay in place for up to 180 days while they set permanent regulations.

“We certainly are interested in people availing themselves of the public process," he said. "The workshops, you know, coming to the public hearing or send us comments so that we can have all the various thoughts and perspectives when we put together the final regulations.”

Garvin said some changes were made after discussions with gun interest groups.

“We’ve also heard from folks on the other side of the issue with raising concerns about their interest and desire to go to our parks if folks are going to be allowed to open carry," he said. "I think there’s various perspectives on this.”

Public workshops are planned in all three counties next month. And a public hearing is set for March 12th. Garvin says he hopes the final rules will go into place this summer.

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