Rhode Island

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


Rhode Island is a shall-issue state by state law but the attorney general “may-issue” permits as well. To purchase, 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 from a private individual. Open carry is legal with a LCCW. Concealed carry is legal only with a LCCW. Applicants must be at least 21. Rhode Island does not honor permits from any other states. Rhode Island is a Castle Doctrine state. A person has no duty to retreat. 

Reciprocal Carry

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

Duty To Notify Police Officer

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.

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.

NFA Items

Rhode Island bans all NFA Items.

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.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Only 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.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, you are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.

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.

Waiting Period

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

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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