FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Rhode Island Gun Laws

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Introduction

Rhode Island’s full name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and is the least extensive of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, with the Atlantic Ocean to the South. Open carry is legal in Rhode Island with a valid license to carry only if the license was issued by the state Attorney General.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Rhode Island Constitution states:

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

[http://gunla.ws/ri1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Rhode Island’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“The control of firearms, ammunition, or their component parts regarding their ownership, possession, transportation, carrying, transfer, sale, purchase, purchase delay, licensing, registration, and taxation shall rest solely with the state, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.”

[http://gunla.ws/ri2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

Rhode Island does not recognize another state’s license to carry a concealed weapon.

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D. Duty to Inform Officers

Yes. Rhode Island does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry, however an Officer may arrest anyone in possession of a firearm if the Officer believes that person is carrying or using that firearm illegally. Anyone so arrested must then prove that their possession or use of a firearm was legal, such as by producing a permit to carry. For this reason it is highly recommended that anyone in possession of a firearm always have their license/permit with them and notify LEO of their permit to carry immediately. [http://gunla.ws/ttuh]

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E. NFA Items

Rhode Island bans all NFA Items. [http://gunla.ws/ze3y]

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F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Rhode Island generally prohibits carrying firearms in vehicles without a permit. Carrying loaded long guns is illegal.  Someone without a permit may carry a handgun provided that it is disassembled, unloaded and carried openly or secured in a separate container, and You are carrying it to or from: the place of purchase or repair, a shooting range, or when moving from one home to another. [http://gunla.ws/ri3]

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G. Waiting Period

Rhode Island imposes a seven (7) day waiting period before purchasing a firearm.

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H. Universal Background Checks

Background checks are mandatory for all firearm sales, and transfers between private parties, except between family members, must go through a licensed dealer. Holders of a valid Rhode Island license to carry are exempt from this requirement.

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I. Self-defense Laws

Rhode Island has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into a dwelling, place of business, or occupied motor vehicle. [http://gunla.ws/ri4]

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J. Criminal Provisions

Under Rhode Island law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • Parks
  • Hospitals
  • Places of worship
  • Sports arenas
  • Gambling facilities
  • Polling places
  • Public and private school grounds
  • Discharge of a firearm on another’s property without their permission [http://gunla.ws/mqet]
  • Discharge of a firearm across a public road, street, square, or lane
  • While intoxicated or under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs [http://gunla.ws/ri5]

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see: [http://gunla.ws/ws41]

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K. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes, if you possess a valid concealed handgun license. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant – You are prohibited from carrying into these areas. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol.

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L. Open Carry

Open carry of handguns is permitted for only those with a carry permit issued by the AG of Rhode Island. Open carry is not permitted for those whose handgun permits were issued by local authorities. Long gun open carry with or without a permit is not prohibited by law. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. [http://gunla.ws/ebkt]

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More