Rhode Island Gun Laws
Like many states in the Northeast, Rhode Island has fairly restrictive gun laws. Although the state constitution does guarantee the right to keep and bear arms, Rhode Island has enacted legislation that strictly governs firearms ownership. The state enforces universal background checks. With some limited exceptions, Rhode Island is a ‘shall issue’ state for concealed carry licenses.
- Gun Laws at a Glance
- Firearm License Requirements
- Background Checks
- Gun Shows
- Ammunition and Hardware Restrictions
- Prohibited Persons
- Prohibited Places
- Concealed Carry Laws
Rhode Island Gun Laws at a Glance
|Concealed Carry Premit Required||Yes|
|Open Carry Premitted||No|
|Waiting period before purchasing||Yes|
|Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting||Yes|
|Firearms License Required for Purchasing||Yes|
|Universal Background Check||Yes|
|Large Capacity Magazine Ban||No|
Firearm License Requirements
Any person who does not have a concealed carry license must have a safety certificate to purchase a handgun. This certificate is obtained through the Department of Environmental Management and can be obtained by completing a two-hour basic handgun safety course.
All sellers of firearms must complete background checks on prospective purchasers. This does not apply if the purchaser is a retail firearms dealer, a member of law enforcement, or a concealed carry permit holder.
Rhode Island requires that licensed dealers contact the FBI directly for a background check prior to the sale of a firearm. Additionally, Rhode Island requires that licensed and unlicensed sellers also conduct state background checks through state or local police.
Rhode Island does not regulate gun shows.
Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions
|Assault Weapons||Not restricted|
|50 Caliber Rifles||Not restricted|
|Large Capacity Magazines||Not restricted|
|Ammunition||Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.|
The following people are prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm in Rhode Island:
- Has been convicted of (or pled no contest to) “a crime of violence”;
- Is a fugitive from justice
- Has been convicted of a felony domestic violence offense, or of certain domestic violence misdemeanors
- Is subject to certain domestic violence protective orders
- Is subject to an extreme risk protection order
- Is a drug addict
- Is under guardianship, care, or confinement “by virtue of being a mental incompetent”
- Is an illegal alien
|Schools||Firearms are prohibited on school grounds. Handguns are prohibited in vehicles.||Concealed handgun permit holders are exempt.|
|Vehicles||Handguns are prohibited in vehicles.||This prohibition does not apply to:
Concealed Carry Laws
|“No Gun” Signs||Not covered in Rhode Island law|
|In-Vehicle Carry||Yes with permit|
|State Park Carry||No|
Obtaining a Concealed Carry License
Rhode Island is a ‘shall issue’ state. This means that the licensing authority must issue a concealed carry license to any applicant who meets certain qualifications. However, in Rhode Island, the applicant must also:
- Be “a suitable person to licensed”
- Have a “good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property” or have any other “proper reason” for carrying a handgun.
|Requirements for a Concealed Carry License|
Concealed Carry Firearms Training
Any person seeking a license must have a certification that he or she is qualified to safely use a handgun of the caliber equal to or larger than the one he or she is intending to carry. The applicant must achieve a score of 195 or greater out of 300 with 30 rounds at an L target, from a distance of 25 yards.
Concealed Carry Location Restrictions
Even with a concealed carry permit, you may not carry a concealed firearm in the following locations:
- State parks, wildlife management areas, and state or national forests
- Any place if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Secured areas inside or around airports
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.