Rhode Island Gun Laws

rhode island gun laws

Rhode Island Gun Laws are based on the Article 1, Section 22 of the State of Rhode Island’s Constitution which reads, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Validity of Permits Issued Under Rhode Island Gun Laws in Other Jurisdictions

Currently, there are no permits issued by other states which are recognized by Rhode Island Gun Laws. However, 19 states honor permits issued under Rhode Island Gun Laws, and these are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Idaho
  5. Indiana
  6. Iowa
  7. Kansas
  8. Kentucky
  9. Michigan
  10. Missouri
  11. Nebraska
  12. Nevada
  13. North Carolina
  14. Oklahoma
  15. South Dakota
  16. Tennessee
  17. Texas
  18. Utah
  19. Vermont

Key Provisions of Rhode Island Gun Laws

Here are the main rules and regulations provided by Rhode Island Gun Laws:

1. A person below 18 years old is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

2. Although no permit is needed to purchase a rifle or shotgun, a person has to fill up a “Purchase of a Shotgun or Rifle Application Form” prior to any sale of the said firearms. This applies whether the purchase is made through a licensed dealer or through a private entity.

3. The buyer must pass a background check conducted by the local police of the superintendent of the State Police before getting the gun.

4. A firearm dealer must furnish the local police a copy of the purchase application form every transaction.

5. A seller is not allowed to deliver or transfer a shotgun or rifle until 7 days has lapsed from the date of application. Also, the delivery or transfer must take place after 12 noon. This applies only if the applicant does not have any of the disqualifying factors set forth by the law in relation to the ownership or possession of firearms.

6. A person without a license to carry is not allowed to possess a handgun unless the following conditions apply:

  • He is within his dwelling place, business establishment registered to him or a land owned by him.
  • He is merely transporting a handgun from another state, provided that he has a valid permit to carry from his point of origin.
  • He a law enforcement official or military on duty.
  • He belongs to an organization or agency authorized by the US to purchase firearms.
  • The handgun being carried within the vehicle is unloaded and securely wrapped in a container, and he is merely transporting the handgun to and from his properties or from the place of purchase to the residence of the buyer.
  • The handgun in possession is for the purpose of target practice and it is being transported only to and from the shooting range and the home.

7. It is illegal to sell, manufacture or possess a machine gun or its components except when the person has a license to do so which is provided by the attorney general.

8. The loss or theft of a firearm must be reported within 24 hours (upon discovery of the loss or theft) to law enforcement officials.

9. Possessing a firearm with destroyed, unrecognizable or altered identification marks is unlawful.

10. The possession of a loaded rifle or shotgun within a vehicle situated in a public road is prohibited.

11. Carrying a firearm while intoxicated is not allowed.

12. A person is not allowed to possess a sawed off rifle or shotgun.

13. Firearms that are no longer in working condition, classified as antique or used in research, educational or scientific purposes are exempted from the above restrictions.

License to Carry Requirements

A person who wishes to apply for a license to carry a handgun must meet the following conditions:

1. Must be at least 21 years old.

2. US citizen and a resident of the town where he is applying.

3. He should have a valid reason that will justify his need of a handgun.

4. Must be of good moral character.

5. Is not subject to a court order or decision that bars him from possessing or owning a firearm.

6. Must be able to fill up the required forms by the issuing authority, submit all the necessary supporting documents, and pay the fees associated with the application.

7. The applicant must be able to successfully complete the required handgun courses and display competency in the use of such through a series of tests.


The regulation of firearms, ammunition and their components are solely reserved to the State Legislature under Rhode Island Gun Laws.

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