Barnyard BBS

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Delaware Conceal and Carry Laws
2/16/2008 5:42:00 PM

I'm in the middle applying for my Delaware Conceal and Carry License (concealed firearms license).  Since laws regarding concealed weapons can vary wildly between states, I wanted to do my homework before actually starting to carry.

I got a lot of conflicting information from many sources.  A particular point of concern was the "School Zone" question.  I had been told by several people (including my CCW instructor) that you were forbidden to carry a concealed weapon within 1000 feet of a school or college.  Needless to say, this concerned me quite a bit.  I live within 1000 feet of a school. I also work within 1000 feet of a school.  This "law" could put a severe cramp in my right to carry.

I started researching.  I am not a lawyer.  This does not constitute legal advice.

Here's what I've found:

  • There's a federal law, called the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990.  It has important exceptions built into it.  It does not apply to private property within the "radius".  Additionally, it provides a special exception for anyone with a "state issued permit".  This means that Delaware CCW holders are except.  This becomes important later.
  • There is a Delaware law, Possession of a weapon in a Safe School and Recreation Zone.  This law doesn't really introduce any new restrictions.  It just "amps up" the severity of the punishment, should you be convicted of another crime while on school grounds.  For example, the regular charge of Carrying a concealed deadly weapon "upgrades" from a class G felony to a class E felony.

My analysis:

If you have a Delaware (or Delaware-recognized) CCW permit, you can carry within the 1000 foot perimeter.  In fact, if you happen to be a college student (that happens to be of age to acquire a CCW) you could even legally carry on campus.  Furthermore, from my reading of the law, a teacher could legally carry while at work.


Just because these are established as legal, that doesn't mean that it's permissible by the entity in question.  For example, the University of Delaware has a policy against weapons.  Legally speaking, they can expel / fire you.  That's their call.  It's their house and their rules.  However, that's a private matter.  It's not a crime.

The same is true of the teacher's example.  The hypothetical teacher could be fired for breaking policy, but not arrested.

Remember, this is a strict legal interpretation.  There are lots of "dumb" situations that you could cause, if you aren't careful.  Even with a CCW permit, you can't brandish your weapon.  Intimidation is still legally menacing.  Keep it legal; keep it concealed.

Final thoughts:

This isn't just my interpretation.  I've had two other individuals review my research.  Both of them agreed with my interpretation.  Both also commented on "keeping it out of sight", in order to avoid a menacing charge.

Both have requested that I not publish their names, as they don't want any liability pointed in their direction.  That's probably wise on their part.  Regardless, if either of you two are reading this: thanks for your help.

For that matter, I don't want any liability in my direction either.  This isn't legal advice, just my opinion on the law as it is written. 

If you would like more information about conceal and carry laws (in relation to colleges / universities), I recommend you check out Concealed Campus.  Concealed Campus is anon-profit "student's right to carry" advocacy group.

I hope this helps.

Delaware Political Rumblings
8/29/2007 9:48:00 PM

The Wilmington city council has recently approved a "redevelopment plan" that seeks to unlawfully seize private properties under the guise of Eminent Domain.  The "South Walnut Street Urban Renewal Plan" seeks to force the sale of 61 individual parcels (primarily businesses) to make way for new residential development.

This is another recent abuse of Eminent Domain, which have become so popular since the Supreme Court ruled on the Kelo vs. New London case.

I contacted my local representative, but sadly, I do not live in the formal city limits of Wilmington, and had no representation in the city council hearing.  However, I would like to take a moment to comment my representative for his well-reasoned and well-meaning stance on the issue.

My state representative is Robert Gilligan (Bob).  He's an honest man, which is rare amongst politicians.  Although I've only lived in the area three years, Bob has always been accessible.  I met him at a neighborhood meeting.  He routinely visits neighborhood gatherings, to meet his base.  He returns phone calls personally.  I like that.

I feel that he does an excellent job representing my concerns.  He has been proactive in the past about such issues, and he has made it clear to me where he stands on the issue of Eminent Domain.  He offers direct answers, which is a rare commodity. 

Here are a few key points that he mentioned to me:

  • When Kelo vs. New London was first decided, the state responded with an amendment to the Delaware Code that clarified the protections for Delaware residents.  Based on this, he questions the legality of the actions taken by the Wilmington City Council.
  • The state legislature is currently adjourned until the winter.  I cannot help but think that the Wilmington City Council waited until the adjournment to pull this stunt.
  • If a loophole has been discovered in the 2005 amendment to the Delaware Code, I've been assured that it will be closed during the next session.

Thanks Bob, for representing the interests of your constituents.

Here are a few articles dealing with the current Eminent Domain mess:


Delaware State Fair, 2007
7/23/2007 6:17:00 PM

Here's our pictorial trip to this year's Delaware State Fair...

For those of you not familiar with it, the Delaware State Fair is held annually in Harrington.  Harrington is about 70 minutes south of Wilmington, in the center of "farm country".  The fair is primarily agricultural, with more animals that you'll be willing to visit.  Here are a few of the more interesting pictures this year:


Yes, they have a "Goat Department".  It's an entire building (about the size of an aircraft hangar) where people show off their goats.  Hundreds of them.  Apparently, goats make pretty good pets.  The pygmy variety aren't very large, and (so I'm told) get along with dogs pretty well.


This is why you don't give rednecks money.


This is the biggest and baddest mower that John Deere makes... It's got a 15' (yes, fifteen foot) cutting width.  It's really a remarkable piece of equipment; so I always take a picture of it.


Where, except a state fair, can one acquire a deep fried pickle?  Although the concept of frying a pickle does intrigue me,  I have not sampled one as yet.


This six-day-old calf was being raffled off to support the 4-H club.  I don't know why Jessawick insisted that we enter a drawing for a bovine, but she did.  We proudly hold two chances to win this fine animal.  We'll know next week if we need to buy another pet bed.  I hope it likes small dogs.

Red Clay Referendum Defeated, and Soundly Spanked
5/21/2007 6:30:00 PM

It seems that running referrenda is all the rage in Delaware this year.  It seems all the school districts are getting in on the game.  Recently, the referendum wagon came to down in my area.  The Red Clay school district decided it wanted more money, so it called for a referendum.  For reference, it's only been about three years since the last one.

The voters trashed it pretty soundly.  The final score was 6620 (against) vs. 4822 (for).  That's a pretty wide defeat.  Especially because the district has been hard selling it to the residents.  The official results are on the Delaware Elections Page.

It makes sense that it was defeated though; Red Clay is a lousy school district.  We'll need some results before we open our collective wallet.

They love to talk about property value when they're pushing for a 'yes' vote.  I've got new for them... If the success of the school district actually affected my property value; it would already be in the crapper.

Sorry guys.  Nice try.  No dice.

However, like all school districts that don't get their way, they will undoubtedly run another one.  Delaware permits two attempts per year.  I'm sure the second round is already being planned.  Brandywine already has a date for their second round.  They failed on the first try also, but theirs was a much closer race.  They didn't get the profound thumping that Red Clay received.

Don't worry; we'll be there for round two...  And we'll still be voting 'No'. 

Barnyard News
11/20/2006 6:51:00 PM
I've recently made a new addition to the site. I realized that I've been lax in my following of legislative process here in Delaware; so I built something for my own selfish convenience. It's an aggregator of proposed, pending, and approved legislation in the state. Maybe I'll be able to prevent the next obnoxious bill from sneaking into law without any announcement.

Check it out: