Rhode Island Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Rhode Island.

In Rhode Island, adults can purchase and openly carry a gun by obtaining a safety certificate trough the Department of Environment. You must obtain a separate concealed handgun license to carry a concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body. For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Rhode Island.

How to Obtain a Safety Certificate or Concealed Handgun License in Rhode Island

To obtain a safety certificate or concealed handgun license, you must apply at the city or town clerk’s office in the city or town where you live or have a place of business. Your local licensing authorities have the discretion to determine whether or not to issue you either (or any) permit. To qualify, you must:

  • be at least 21 years old
  • be a resident of the city or town in which you are applying, or a resident of another state who possesses a current concealed carry license in that state
  • have a “good reason” to fear an injury to yourself or your personal property
  • submit a $40 fee
  • submit a completed application (to be obtained from your city or town clerk’s office)
  • (for pistols and revolvers) submit proof of ability to use the caliber of weapon or larger that you intend to carry

(R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-11.)

Does Rhode Island Recognize Concealed Carry Gun Permits From Other States?

No. There are no laws in Rhode Island that recognize concealed gun permits from other states. Furthermore, it is illegal for Rhode Island residents to purchase a concealable weapon out of state and bring it into Rhode Island without first obtaining a safety certificate or concealed carry permit. (R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-36.)

However, it is legal for a resident of another state, who is licensed as required by law in that state, to travel through Rhode Island with a concealed weapon, as long as that person does not intend on remaining in Rhode Island. (R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-8.)

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit

It is illegal to carry a weapon in Rhode Island without the applicable safety certificate or concealed carry license. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, at least one year (and up to ten years) in prison, or both. (R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-8.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Rhode Island, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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