Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

Concealed Carry Permitting in Rhode Island

Open carry is only legal in Rhode Island with a Rhode Island License to Carry Concealed Weapons (LCCW) issued by the attorney general. LCCWs issued by local authorities are for concealed carry only. Concealed carry is also legal only with a Rhode Island LCCW. However, applicants can obtain a concealed handgun license by applying either to local licensing authorities or to the attorney general. The processes for each are similar. The minimum age is 21 years old and licenses are issued to residents and non-residents. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and are required to explain why they need a firearm and how it will remedy their problem. Additionally, applicants must provide three notarized references. A firearms training course that includes a live-firing test is required. Non-residents that have a permit from their home state may apply for an LCCW through local law enforcement. The attorney general may issue LCCWs to non-residents without permits from their home states.

Stun guns and Tasers are illegal. Any person 18 years of age or older may carry and use, unless otherwise prohibited by law, any non-lethal pepper spray or noxious substance or liquid for his or her protection or the protection of others. Rhode Island has no magazine restrictions. Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

In order to purchase a handgun, a buyer must have a Rhode Island LCCW or complete and pass a minimum two-hour basic handgun safety course administered by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM). At that time, they will receive a DEM-issued safety certificate. A purchaser must be at least 21 years old to buy a handgun. A background check is required to buy a handgun from a private individual. The background check is obtained through the state police or local chief of police. There is a seven-day waiting period for firearms purchases. Firearms registration is not required in Rhode Island.

Can One Carry in a Vehicle in Rhode Island?

Anyone with a Rhode Island Pistol Permit or U.S. territory concealed carry permit can carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle provided you are merely transporting the firearm through the state in a vehicle or other conveyance without any intent to remain within the state of Rhode Island. Without a valid permit, a firearm must be unloaded. And neither the firearm nor any ammunition can be readily accessible from the passenger compartment. In vehicles without a trunk, the firearm or ammunition must be in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.

Locations where a concealed handgun may be carried for individuals with a Rhode Island LCCW include:

  • Restaurants that serve alcohol, unless posted, and provided you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Roadside rest areas

Locations where carry is prohibited, even for permit holders, include:

  • State parks, WMAs and state/national forests
  • The property of a public or private elementary or secondary school or in those portions of any building, stadium, or other structure on school grounds which are being used for an activity sponsored by or through a school in this state or while riding school provided transportation (except unloaded firearms in locked containers or a locked rack in a motor vehicle)
  • Any place if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Secured areas in airports
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation

Visit the USCCA Rhode Island gun laws page now…