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DNREC, DDA prepare to respond to Delaware Supreme Court’s Dec. 7 decision allowing firearms in state parks and forests

Date Posted: Friday, December 22nd, 2017
Categories:  Department of Agriculture Division of Fish and Wildlife Division of Parks and Recreation DNREC

DOVER – The Delaware Supreme Court, by decision dated Dec. 7, 2017 in the matter of Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club, LTD, overturned a Superior Court ruling and ended a ban on visitors’ possessing firearms in Delaware’s state parks and state forests. Pursuant to the ruling, visitors may now possess firearms unless they are prohibited by law due to a past conviction for a violent crime, active Protection from Abuse Order, or mental health commitment. Following the Court’s decision to invalidate the existing regulations limiting firearms in state parks and forests, and some Division of Fish & Wildlife properties, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Department of Agriculture anticipate issuing interim firearm regulations early next week. The interim regulations would respect the State Constitutional provisions on firearms cited by the Court, by implementing the State’s interest in ensuring the safety of the public in a less restrictive manner.

The State anticipates that these interim regulations would prohibit firearms in certain public facilities and designated areas – including park offices, visitors’ centers, bathhouses, zoos, educational facilities, dormitories, group camping areas, swimming pools, guarded beaches, stadiums and water parks. In addition, the regulations would allow holders of valid Delaware concealed carry permits to carry within parks, including designated areas. The regulations would further allow active-duty law enforcement officers and qualified retired officers to carry anywhere within the parks and other areas affected by Supreme Court decision.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9064

Vol. 47, No. 266

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DNREC Logo The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Want your news hot off the press? Join the DNREC press release email list. Send a blank email to join-dnrec_press_releases@lists.state.de.us.
For more information, contact the DNREC Public Affairs Office, at 302.739.9902

  
The Division of Fish & Wildlife conserves and manages the fish and wildlife resources of the state, including restoration of habitats, and provides safe fishing, boating and hunting opportunities. Follow the Division on FaceBook.
The Division of Parks and Recreation protects and maintains Delaware’s state parks and provides recreational opportunities throughout the state.

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