If you are looking for a self-defense weapon that can give you more range than pepper spray, but is less deadly than a firearm, tasers are a choice worth considering.
Generally speaking, they are far less damaging than any gun or knife, but they give you more range and decisiveness compared to pepper spray, making them an ideal “middle ground” choice.
So many police agencies issue them, they have to do something right, right? But despite being a lesser force option compared to firearms, they still aren’t legal everywhere.
How about in Delaware? Are tasers legal in Delaware?
Yes, tasers are legal in Delaware, but if you want to carry one concealed, you’ll need to get a permit. You also cannot own a taser if you are in any way forbidden from owning or purchasing firearms.
Delaware is not the worst state for tasers in New England, but it’s a far cry from other, more permissive states elsewhere in the country.
The good news is that it’s definitely possible to carry one concealed for self-defense if you have a permit.
The bad news is, it’s completely illegal to carry one otherwise, and several cities ban tasers outright. Tough break! There’s a lot more you’ll want to learn if you live in Delaware and want a taser, so keep reading.
How are Tasers Classified in Delaware?
Tasers fall under a dual classification in the Delaware State statues as seen in Section 222 of Title 11, Chapter 2.
Tasers are defined as “dangerous instruments,” which means “any instrument which under the circumstances it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury, or any electronic control device”.
“Dangerous instruments” are also included in the definition for “deadly weapon.”
The same section then defines “electronic control device” as “any device designed to incapacitate a person which includes but is not limited to a neuromuscular incapacitation device.”
In short, they are talking about tasers and stun guns alike. Read the exact text of the definitions from Section 222 below.
222. General definitions
(5) “Dangerous instrument” means any instrument, article or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury, or any disabling chemical spray, as defined in paragraph (8) of this section or any electronic control devices including but not limited to a neuromuscular incapacitation device designed to incapacitate a person.
(6) “Deadly weapon” includes a “firearm”, as defined in paragraph (13) of this section, a bomb, a knife of any sort (other than an ordinary pocketknife carried in a closed position), switchblade knife, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, metal knuckles, slingshot, razor, bicycle chain or ice pick or any “dangerous instrument”, as defined in paragraph (5) of this section, which is used, or attempted to be used, to cause death or serious physical injury. For the purpose of this definition, an ordinary pocketknife shall be a folding knife having a blade not more than 3 inches in length.
(11) “Electronic control device” is a device designed to incapacitate a person, including but not limited to a neuromuscular incapacitation device.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Delaware?
Yes, but they are restricted in the exact same way as tasers are. This might seem like a case of splitting hairs or being pedantic, but it isn’t.
Although tasers and stun guns occupy the same family, as it were, of electronic defensive weapons the two terms are often confused or used interchangeably in common parlance.
Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably in various State statutes.
For clarity going forward, a stun gun is a contact device which will shock a target when the electrodes are pressed into them.
A taser is a dart firing electronic weapon which trails wires back to the unit through which current flows into the target. Big difference in practical effectiveness, but identical as far as the State of Delaware is concerned.
Can You Carry a Taser Openly in Delaware?
Yes, open carry of tasers is legal in Delaware as long as you’re legally allowed to be in possession of the taser and the device itself is legal.
And, be aware, local municipalities may enact laws that are stricter than the state laws concerning when and where such weapons may be carried openly.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Delaware?
Yes, as long as you have a concealed weapons permit and the taser you are carrying is legal.
But once again, you’ll need to diligently check all local laws and regulations on weapons generally and it tasers specifically, because there are several cities that ban tasers outright, or restrict them far more heavily than the state level laws do.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Delaware?
Yes. Tasers may only be legally possessed by people that are 18 years old or older in Delaware.
Possession of a taser by anyone who is under the age of 18 is a crime, as is transferring a taser to anyone that is underage.
1448. Possession and purchase of deadly weapons by persons prohibited; penalties [Effective until June 30, 2025]
a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the following persons are prohibited from purchasing, owning, possessing, or controlling a deadly weapon or ammunition for a firearm within the State:
(5) Any person under the age of 21.
a. This paragraph (a)(5) shall not apply to the purchase, owning, possession, or control of the following deadly weapons:
3. Deadly weapons other than firearms if the person is 18 years of age or older.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Delaware?
If you want to purchase a taser in Delaware you’ll need to head to a dealer where such devices are sold and follow their instructions.
They will certainly need to record your personal information for submitting to the manufacturer, and you’ll likely need to complete a background check similar to the one you’ll have to undergo for purchasing a firearm.
Notably, there’s a long list of disqualifiers from owning a taser in Delaware, and the state statutes clarify that all of the disqualifiers that would prevent you from obtaining a firearm will prevent you from obtaining a taser.
You can read yourself in Section 1448 of Title 11 Chapter 5. Not shown here because it is very lengthy!
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in Delaware?
No, although you will need to complete the prerequisite training for a concealed weapons permit if you want to carry your taser concealed.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Delaware?
You can carry a taser anywhere in Delaware where you may legally carry weapons generally, but this is not a hard and fast rule.
As mentioned several times already, various jurisdictions in Maryland have their own laws concerning tasers specifically, not just weapons, and a few municipalities and cities, namely Wilmington and Newcastle County, ban tasers from civilian possession outright.
No exceptions for possession in your home or at your place of business.
It is up to you to thoroughly investigate all of the local regulations and laws concerning tasers and other weapons anywhere you live, work or visit in the state of Delaware.
Remember, ignorance of the law is never an excuse, particularly when it pertains to weapons offenses!
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Delaware?
The only time you should ever use your taser in Delaware on another person is if it is to defend yourself from a legitimate threat, one that will result in death or great bodily injury.
Using your taser for any other reason- because someone insulted you, because you are angry or as a prank- is a serious felony in Delaware!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.