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Rhode Island Gun Laws: What You Need to Know

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As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it may be to stay up to date on gun laws. Rhode Island gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Rhode Island gun laws. (Not from Rhode Island? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state.)

Can You Have A Loaded Gun in Your Car in Rhode Island?

Yes; however, since Rhode Island offers no reciprocity, only those with a Rhode Island License to Carry Concealed Weapons (LCCW) may carry in a vehicle. Without a Rhode Island LCCW, the firearm must be unloaded. 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.

Do You Need a Gun License in Rhode Island?

Yes. Both open and concealed carry are only legal in Rhode Island with a Rhode Island LCCW. The Rhode Island attorney general “may issue” a license to carry a handgun “concealed or not” to a person 21 or older who makes a “proper showing of need” for the license and has certification of his or her ability to use the handgun. Local law enforcement “shall issue” licenses to eligible applicants “if it appears” that the applicant is “a suitable person to be licensed” and either “has good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property” or has any other “proper reason” for carrying a handgun. The minimum age is 21 years old. Permits are issued to residents and non-residents. Non-residents must have a valid concealed carry license from their home state in order to apply at the local level, although the attorney general may issue LCCWs to non-residents without permits from their home state.

Is Rhode Island a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State?

No. However, Rhode Island is a Castle Doctrine state. Rhode Island law states the owner, tenant or occupier of a place has no duty to retreat and can engage a threat with reasonable means of self-defense. Reasonable means of self-defense may include use of lethal force in circumstances where there is reasonable belief of threat of serious and imminent bodily injury or death. There is a duty to retreat outside one’s home.

Does Rhode Island Have Strict Gun Laws?

In some ways, Rhode Island could be considered to have strict gun laws. Under Rhode Island law, an eligible applicant must demonstrate that he or she is suitable, has good reason to fear an injury to person or property and another “proper reason” for carrying a handgun. All purchasers of handguns must either have a Rhode Island License to Carry Concealed Weapons or completed and passed a minimum two-hour basic handgun safety course. There is a seven-day waiting period for firearms purchases. Background checks are also required to buy a handgun from a private individual. Firearms registration is not required in Rhode Island.

Is Rhode Island Open Carry?

Open carry is only legal in Rhode Island with a Rhode Island LCCW issued by the attorney general. The attorney general “may issue” a license to carry a handgun “concealed or not” to a person age 21 or older who makes a “proper showing of need” for the license and has certification of his or her ability to use the handgun. The attorney-general-issued license — unlike that issued by local authorities — can also be granted to undocumented persons.

What Is a Rhode Island Blue Card?

A blue card is a term used to describe a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Pistol/Revolver Safety Certificate. A blue card certifies that you have passed the state’s required handgun safety exam consisting of 50 questions with a minimum score of 80 percent. The exam can be completed at any RIDEM-approved firearms dealer or sporting club in the state or at the RIDEM headquarters in Providence. There is no fee to take the exam.

Are 30-Round Magazines Legal in Rhode Island?

Yes, 30-round magazines are legal in Rhode Island. The state does not have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns.

Ready to Learn More About Rhode Island Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Rhode Island’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Rhode Island gun laws page now…


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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