Court rejects some new gun restrictions in Delaware state forests, parks
By Chris Eger
Blackbird State Forest is part of over 40,000 acres of public land administered by the Delaware departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Environmental Control. (Photo: Delaware.gov)
A judge this week handed a win to gun rights advocates in the ongoing legal fight to end a ban on visitors possessing firearms in state parks. Kent County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clark on Wednesday riddled new rules developed by state agriculture and parks agencies developed to modify their long-standing gun free zones.
Crafted to comply with a 2017 ruling by the state supreme court that the almost total ban on firearm possession on the 40,000 acres of public land under the agencies’ control was unconstitutional, the state argued that some 99 percent of the land was now open to those with firearms and the enduring gun free zones were only maintained on “sensitive” areas.
Clark concluded the regs — which include a ban on guns in camping areas, some of the most high-trafficked areas on state land — were still unconstitutional when it came to the right to keep and bear arms. “The effect of including camp sites within sensitive areas forces State Park and Forest visitors to give up their right to self-defense