Rhode Island State Seal

Rhode Island Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Carry allowed with my Rhode Island permit?
No
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
2k
Permits Issued
0
STATES HONORED
26
RECIPROCATING STATES
1.1M
STATE POPULATION
21
MINIMUM AGE TO CC
3
ATTORNEYS IN USCCA NETWORK
0.22%
PERMIT PERCENTAGE
4
YEARS PERMIT VALID
7
USCCA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

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Summary of Rhode Island Gun Laws

Rhode Island is a shall-issue state by state law but the attorney general “may-issue” permits as well. Licenses to carry concealed weapons are issued at the local level by the police chief or by the attorney general.  

Under Rhode Island law, 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 Rhode Island attorney general also “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.

In order to purchase a handgun, a buyer must have a Rhode Island License to Carry Concealed Weapons (LCCW) or obtain a “blue card” from the RI Department of Environmental Management. 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. Firearms registration is not required in Rhode Island.

Open carry is only legal in Rhode Island with a Rhode Island LCCW issued by the attorney general. LCCWs issued by local authorities are for concealed carry only. The minimum age is 21 years old and permits are issued to residents and non-residents. Non-residents must have a valid CCW license from their home state in order to apply for a Rhode Island LCCW. 

Concealed carry is legal only with a Rhode Island LCCW. Under Rhode Island law, 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. Applicants are required to explain why they need a firearm and how it will remedy their problem and must provide three notarized references. A firearms training course that includes a live-firing test is required. Some areas are off-limits even with a LCCW, including state parks and federal buildings. In terms of reciprocity, Rhode Island does not honor permits from any other states.

Rhode Island is a Castle Doctrine state. The owner, tenant or occupier of a place has no duty to retreat and can engage the threat with deadly force. There is a duty to retreat outside one’s home. 

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Rhode Island Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Rhode Island allow constitutional carry?

No. Rhode Island does not allow constitutional carry.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Rhode Island?

Yes, however, only with a RI LCCW issued by the attorney general. A person may open carry without a permit in their place of residence, place of business and on land they own.

Gun Permit Licensure?

If Rhode Island requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Rhode Island is a shall-issue/may-issue hybrid state.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Rhode Island to get a concealed carry permit?

The minimum age to concealed carry in Rhode Island is 21 years old.

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Rhode Island with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

A concealed carry permit in Rhode Island does not allow you to carry weapons other than handguns.

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Rhode Island?

Stun devices/electric weapons are illegal.

[§ 11-47-42]

Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray?

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Rhode Island?

Yes, any person 18 years of age or over may carry and use, unless otherwise prohibited by law, any non-lethal noxious substance or liquid for his or her protection or the protection of others; however, the use of any non-lethal noxious substance or liquid for any other purpose shall be punishable by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars.

[§ 11-47-57]

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Rhode Island issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Yes, if you have a valid CCW license from your home state.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Rhode Island allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No. Rhode Island does not allow the public to access concealed carry registry information.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Rhode Island?

Yes, with a RI LCCW only.

[11 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-8]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Rhode Island?

Yes, with a RI LCCW only.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Rhode Island?

No. Concealed carry is not allowed in state/national parks, state/national forests and wildlife management areas in Rhode Island.

[250-RICR-100-00-1.17]

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Rhode Island?

Yes, with a RI LCCW only, unless posted and provided you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

[11 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-52]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Rhode Island have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in Rhode Island state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Rhode Island?

No. You are not required to notify an officer you are concealed carrying in Rhode Island.

[11 R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-27]

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Rhode Island have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. Rhode Island does not have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Rhode Island have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Rhode Island? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No. Not mentioned in state statutes.

Preemption?

Does Rhode Island have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except local governments are allowed to pass ordinances to protect the public safety. In addition, section 11-47-50 prohibits the discharge of firearms, BB guns or other contraptions capable of discharging bullets, shot or missiles within the “compact part of any city or town” except on land owned or occupied by the firearm user. 

[RI Genl Laws § 11-47-58]

Brandishing?

Does Rhode Island state law define brandishing?

No. However, a person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly or recklessly engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior.

[11 R.I. Gen Laws § 11-45-1]

Red Flag Law?

Does Rhode Island have a red flag law?

Yes. A law enforcement agency may file a petition that shall enjoin the respondent from having in his or her possession, custody or control any firearms and shall further enjoin the respondent from purchasing, receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, any firearms while the order is in effect.

[R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-8.3-3]

Carry While Using Alcohol or Prescription Medication?

Does Rhode Island have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?

Yes, but not while intoxicated or under the influence.

[R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-52]

As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.

Handgun Purchase & Possession

Purchase Permits?

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Rhode Island?

All purchasers of handguns must either have a RI LCCW or complete and pass minimum two-hour basic handgun safety course administered by the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM), at which time they will receive a DEM-issued safety certificate.

Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Rhode Island?

Yes. Rhode Island requires both licensed dealers and private unlicensed sellers to conduct background checks through the state police or local chief of police. All prospective firearms purchasers in Rhode Island must complete and sign an application form which the seller must send to the state police or local chief of police for the background check. The police authority has seven days to verify that the applicant’s background meets state requirements.
Waiting Period?

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Rhode Island?

Yes. There is a 7-day waiting period.

Handgun Registration?

Do handguns need to be registered in Rhode Island?

No. Handguns in Rhode Island do not need to be registered.

Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Rhode Island?

The minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Rhode Island is 18 years.

[R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-47-33]

Carry While Hunting

Carry While Gun Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Rhode Island?

No. No person shall use, or have in his or her possession, while hunting for deer, pistols, guns, or other firearms, etc.

[R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 20-15-5.]

Carry While Bow Hunting?

Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in Rhode Island?

No. Only one firearm or bow may be possessed in the field per individual hunter while hunting deer. 

[2019 RI Hunting and Trapping Regs Guide]

Hunter Harassment Law?

Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Rhode Island?

Yes. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person at the location where the activity is taking place with intent to prevent the lawful taking. A person violates this section when he or she intentionally or knowingly:

  • Drives or disturbs wildlife for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife where another person is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife;
  • Blocks, impedes, or otherwise harasses another person who is engaged in the process of lawfully taking wildlife;
  • Uses natural or artificial visual, aural, olfactory, or physical stimuli to affect wildlife behavior in order to hinder or prevent the lawful taking of wildlife;
  • Erects barriers with the intent to deny ingress or egress to areas where the lawful taking of wildlife may occur;
  • Interjects himself or herself into the line of fire;
  • Affects the condition or placement of personal or public property intended for use in the lawful taking of wildlife in order to impair its usefulness or prevent its use;  or
  • Enters or remains upon private lands without the permission of the owner or the owner's agent, with intent to violate this section.

[R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 20-13-16]

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State Constitutional Provision
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
ARTICLE 1, § 22

Rhode Island Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Rhode Island honor?

Rhode Island does not honor permits/licenses from other states.


Other States' Reciprocity With Rhode Island

Which states honor permits from Rhode Island?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Rhode Island

Michigan (resident permits only)
Texas (issued by the RI Attorney General only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
South Dakota (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Have a residence or place of business within the town in which the application is submitted. Or have a residence within the United States and a CCW permit/license issued by the authorities of any other state or subdivision of the United States;
  • Have a good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property or have any other proper reason to be licensed;
  • Be a suitable person to be so licensed;
  • Not be prohibited from having a firearm by any state or federal law or court order; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit and Renewals $40

Valid For:

4 years

Processing Time:

90 days

Application:
Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Non-resident permits processed by local authorities are granted with a valid CCW from another state. Permits may be issued by the Attorney General to non-residents without CCW permits from their home state. Non-residents use the same process as residents.

Name/Address Changes:

Contact your local issuing authority or the attorney general's office.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Contact your local issuing authority or the attorney general's office.


Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Obtain your firearms qualification within 1 year of submitting your application.

Step 2:

Download the application. Complete the form and have it notarized. You will need 3 typed, signed and dated notarized reference letters.

Step 3:

Have passport-style photographs taken. You will need 2 photos.

Step 4:

If applying through the attorney general, the application must be signed or stamped by the local police chief or a city hall official in the city or town of the applicant’s residence.

Step 5:

In addition to the notarized application and reference letters, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • 2 FBI fingerprint cards;
  • 2 forms of identification, signed and dated by a Notary Public;
  • 2 passport-style photographs;
  • 2 copies of your birth certificate or passport; 
  • Firearms training certificate along with a copy of the instructor’s NRA/FBI firearms instructor certification;
  • All non-residents applying through local authorities must include a copy of their home state permit;
  • If the permit is to be used for employment, a typed and signed letter of explanation must be submitted on company letterhead along with a copy of the business license as proof that the business exists; and
  • If the permit is NOT for employment, a typed and dated letter must be submitted by the applicant stating the reasons why a permit is needed on a full-time basis.

Pay the fees.

Step 6:

You will be notified by mail of approval or denial of permit. If approved, you must appear in person to pick up permit.


Firearms Training Requirements in Rhode Island

Rhode Island requires concealed handgun license applicants to certify that they are qualified to use a handgun of a caliber equal to or greater than the caliber of handgun they intend to carry. The applicant is required to obtain a score of 195 or better out of a possible score of 300, with 30 consecutive rounds at a distance of 25 yards on any army “L” target firing “slow” fire.

The range officers of the Rhode Island state police or any city or town police department maintaining a regular and continuing firearms training program, a pistol instructor certified by the National Rifle Association and/or the United States Revolver Association, or any other qualified persons that the attorney general may designate are authorized to certify the qualification.

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Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Allow 90 days for processing of your application due to the fact that this department is dependent on other agencies for information necessary to complete the application.

Step 2:

Obtain your firearms qualification within 1 year of submitting your application.

Step 3:

Download the application. Complete the form and have it notarized.

Step 4:

Have passport-style photographs taken. You will need 2 photos.

Step 5:

If applying through the attorney general, the application must be signed or stamped by the local police chief or a city hall official in the city or town of the applicant’s residence.

Step 6:

In addition to the notarized application, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • 2 forms of identification, signed and dated by a Notary Public;
  • 2 passport-style photographs;
  • 2 copies of your birth certificate or passport;
  • Firearms training certificate along with a copy of the instructor’s NRA/FBI firearms instructor certification;
  • All non-residents applying through local authorities must include a copy of their home state permit;
  • If the permit is to be used for employment, a typed and signed letter of explanation must be submitted on company letterhead along with a copy of the business license as proof that the business exists; and
  • If the permit is NOT for employment, a typed and dated letter must be submitted by the applicant stating the reasons why a permit is needed on a full-time basis.

Pay the fees.

Step 7:

You will be notified by mail of approval or denial of permit. If approved, you must appear in person to pick up permit.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

Per RI General Law § 11-47-18:

(b) All state police officers and permanent members of city and town police forces of this state who have retired in good standing after at least 20 years of service, or retired in good standing due to a physical disability other than a psychological impairment, may be issued a license or permit by the attorney general subject to the provisions of §§ 11-47-12 and 11-47-15. The term “in good standing” means that at the time of retirement, the police officer was not facing disciplinary action that could have resulted in his or her termination for misconduct or unfitness for office. Any member of the licensing authority, and its agents, servants and employees shall be immune from suit in any action, civil or criminal, based upon any official act or decision, performed or made in good faith in issuing a license or permit under this chapter.

Pistol Permit Instructions, Statutes and Application


Rhode Island Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Rhode Island?
  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests and WMAs? No.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no state statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Rhode Island?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • State parks, WMAs and state/national forests;
  • Secured areas in airports;
  • Any place if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

FAQ: Rhode Island Concealed Carry Questions

What Are the Knife Laws in Rhode Island?

It is legal to open carry any type of knife in Rhode Island. It is legal to own any type of knife in Rhode Island as long as you do not intend to use the knife against another person. It is illegal to conceal carry a dirk, dagger, bowie knife, stiletto, sword cane or any knife with a blade longer than 3 inches in length.


Related Information & Links for Rhode Island Gun Laws


Rhode Island Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
2019-11-04

Added brandishing info to At A Glance table

2019-10-16

Added Hunter Harassment info to At A Glance table

2019-10-01

Added Chemical Spray/Pepper Spray to the At A Glance table

2019-09-09

Added Carry While Hunting info to At A Glance table

2019-08-13

Added anchor links to various sections below the Summary

2019-07-26

Added minimum age to possess and transport a handgun to At A Glance table

2019-05-24

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

2019-05-02

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

2019-04-19

Links checked

2019-04-02

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

2019-02-15

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

2019-02-09

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

2019-02-06

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

2019-01-25

Added church carry info to location restrictions section

2019-01-24

Added info about alcohol or prescription medication in At A Glance table

2019-01-10

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

2018-12-13

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

2018-11-30

Added parking lot storage info to At A Glance table

2018-10-22

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Rhode Island

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Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

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Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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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