Over 140,000 Delaware residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Delaware reported 55 domestic violence homicides from 2011 to 2017. In 2017 alone, Delaware reported six domestic violence homicides, five of which were committed with a firearm. An abuser’s access to firearms can determine a victim’s chances of survival; domestic violence firearm prohibitions and removal laws save lives.
Delaware prohibits purchase and possession of firearms or ammunition by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and persons subject to final domestic violence protection from abuse orders. A court issuing an ex parte or emergency protection from abuse order may prohibit purchase or receipt of firearms for the duration of the order. Delaware authorizes judges issuing an ex parte, emergency, or final protection from abuse order to order the removal of firearms.