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Are Ghost Guns Legal in Delaware?


Many states have become laser-focused on the issue of ghost guns, and Delaware is certainly no exception. With the rise of 3D printing, this subject is more relevant than ever. While Delaware gun control measures target criminals, legal gun owners may also find themselves in the crosshairs – and a simple mistake may lead to potential ghost gun charges. What exactly is a ghost gun, and when might you face charges for related offenses in Delaware?

What Is the Definition of a Ghost Gun in Delaware? 

Delaware defines a “ghost gun” in the same manner as almost every other state. According to a relatively new law enacted in 2021, a firearm becomes a ghost gun when it lacks a serial number. Prior to the arrival of 3D printing, obtaining a ghost gun was still relatively straightforward. An individual could simply order several different parts from numerous manufacturers before assembling the finished product. If none of these separate components have a serial number, the gun technically falls under the category of ghost gun.

Today, 3D printing has made ghost guns even more ubiquitous – and it is now theoretically possible to assemble an entire firearm without ordering any parts whatsoever. While 3D printing technology is still in its infancy, it is likely that homemade guns will become even more common within the next few decades. 3D printing also potentially allows those prohibited from legally owning weapons to make their own without licenses.

It is worth pointing out that on a federal level, there is nothing inherently illegal about creating your own firearms. Indeed, many legal, licensed gun owners view this as a rewarding hobby – much like customizing a classic car.

 What Kind of Ghost Gun Laws Does Delaware Have? 

In 2021, Delaware created its own official laws regarding ghost guns. Those who are found in possession of ghost guns now face criminal charges that fall between Class D and Class E felonies. Unfinished frames and receivers without serial numbers are now illegal for both possession and sale except with special permits and licenses.  In addition, undetectable firearms are now illegal – and this pertains to fully plastic weapons that cannot be uncovered with metal detectors.

 Police Often Combine Ghost Gun Charges with Other Offenses 

Ghost gun charges are commonly associated with additional offenses. This is because when police conduct searches, they may discover not only ghost guns, but other forms of contraband. On October 20th of 2023, a Narcotics Task Force obtained a search warrant and entered an apartment in New Castle. They then allegedly discovered various drugs in high quantities and an “untraceable” 9 millimeter handgun. Because this defendant is a convicted felon, he faced a slew of charges in addition to the ghost gun offense, including Possession of Controlled Substances and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Gun Charge Attorney in Wilmington? 

If you are facing charges related to ghost guns, 3D printing, or any other firearms issue, it makes sense to get in touch with a Wilmington weapons charge lawyer as soon as possible. Choose Michael W. Modica, Attorney at Law to get started with a defense strategy. Thanks to a wealth of experience with gun control legislation in Delaware, we can guide you toward a positive outcome. Reach out today.




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