The State begins issuing Assault Weapon Certificates of Possession
The State begins issuing Assault Weapon Certificates of Possession this weekend.
Signed into law last June, the Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022 prohibits the manufacture, sale, possession, or transport of most assault weapons in Delaware with certain exceptions.
“One exception to the act is for individuals who lawfully possessed, or who had completed a purchase of, the weapon prior to June 30, 2022. So with that the Act requires the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to issue certificates of possession to individuals who meet this exception,” said Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s Arshon Howard.
The process is voluntary. However, the burden is on owners to prove they lawfully possessed or completed a purchase of their assault weapon prior to June 30th.
A certificate of possession serves as conclusive evidence, allowing someone to possess and transport the weapon.
Violation of the Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022 constitutes a class E or F felony.
The Department of Homeland Security is offering sessions to obtain certificates. The first 3 dates are May 27th in New Castle County, June 3rd in Sussex County, and June 10th in Kent County.
Those seeking a certificate must bring: a valid Delaware driver’s license, Delaware identification card, or United States passport, and a dated bill of sale, receipt of purchase, or record of transfer from a licensed firearms dealer dated prior to June 30, 2022. For inherited weapons, the individuals must bring a will or other documentation proving that the weapon was received through inheritance.
“Residents must bring the weapons that the certificates are being sought for. They must be unloaded and left secured in the vehicle,” added Howard.
An official will go to the vehicle and inspect the weapon to assure it matches the other information provided on the proof of purchase or inheritance. Residents must enter the buildings unarmed.
DSHS will not maintain any record of the issuance of the certificate.
For more information, residents can call (302) 744-2680, or reach out to DEFirearmSafetyAct2022@delaware.gov via email.
Read the full text of the Act for more information, including what qualifies as an assault weapon: