Laws & Policies

The National Park Service carries out its responsibilities in parks and programs under the authority of federal laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, and in accordance with policies and Director's Orders established by the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior.

Law Enforcement

First State National Historical Park is comprised of multiple areas within the State of Delaware and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, operating in cooperation with many partner agencies and landowners. Law enforcement functions within the park are carried out by commissioned Park Rangers within the Division of Visitor & Resource Protection who are duly appointed federal law enforcement officers authorized to carry firearms, conduct investigations, make arrests, and serve warrants pursuant to law and policy. Their duties include law enforcement and physical security, visitor safety, assistance, and information. National Park Service Rangers work closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state Fire/EMS services.

Code of Federal Regulations and Other Federal Laws

Federal regulations that apply to all National Park Service sites can be found here (eCFR: Title 36 of the CFR - Parks, Forests, and Public Property). Other federal laws enforced include sections of United States Code, Titles 16, 18, and 21.

Superintendent's Compendium

In the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), superintendents of each unit in the National Park System have the option to develop specific designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions to address unique management needs in their park unit. Within the CFR, superintendents are given the authority to amend, modify, relax, or make more stringent certain regulations. These park-specific regulations are incorporated into a document called the Superintendent's Compendium - First State National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service) ( and are an extension of the CFR. These publications help direct the park's management efforts to best serve the mission of the National Park Service and the needs of visitors.


Federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in First State NHP. Hunting and the discharge of firearms are prohibited in the park. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering the park. Federal law prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park (such as visitor centers and government offices): those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. Read more about firearms in national parks.

Unmanned Aircraft

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of First State NHP is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent. Read more about unmanned aircrafts in national parks.

Report a Crime or Suspicious Activity

Emergencies - If you have an emergency while visiting the National Historical Park, please call 911. Non-Emergency: If you need assistance during a non-emergency situation and/or would like to speak with an on-duty Law Enforcement Ranger while visiting the National Historical Park, please call the Independence National Historical Park 24-hour Communications Center at (215) 597-7077. The continued protection of our national parks is a job that involves all of us. If you see something suspicious in any National Park Service (NPS) location, or if you have information that could aid an investigation, stay safe and tell us about it.

Please report suspicious activity to First State National Historical Park Rangers at the e-mail address: e-mail us

You may also contact NPS Special Agents of the NPS Investigative Services Branch or submit a tip online.

NPS Investigative Service Branch Tip Line: (888) 653-0009 (Voice or Text)


Last updated: October 27, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

New Castle Court House Museum
Attn: First State NHP
211 Delaware Street

New Castle, DE 19720


If you need to speak to a park ranger call our ranger station at (302-478-2769) and someone will return your call as soon as possible. For a more immediate response, please email the park at

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