Rhode Island Gun Laws

Gun Control Laws in Rhode Island

Gun laws in Rhode Island mandate how residents can use, sell, possess and transfer firearms in the state. Rhode Island is a combination state where the local police “Shall Issue” issue and the Attorney General “May Issue” issue. Rhode Island is very restrictive, and it is quite difficult to get a gun permit in the state. You must convince the authorities that you need a firearm and why, to get a carry permit. Generally, there needs to be a serious threat to your life for you to be approved. There is also a 7-day waiting period to purchase a gun in Rhode Island. Rhode Island also has a “Red Flag Law” where they can block the purchase of a gun if they have credible evidence that someone poses an imminent danger to themselves or others. Rhode Island also has a “Castle Law” which stipulates that a man’s home is his castle and he has the right to use deadly force to protect himself, his home and his family.

State CCW Quick Facts

  • Shall Issue State gun policy
  • No-Without a Permit/License Open Carry Permitted
  • No Constitutional Carry
  • Yes-In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol Carry In Restaurants
  • Yes Carry In Vehicle
  • Residents/Non-residents License issued to
  • 23 # of states that honor Rhode Island license
  • 0 # of state licenses that Rhode Island honors
  • 4 Years license is valid
  • 40 $ cost of the license
  • 21 Minimum age for license permit

Rhode Island’s policy is Shall Issue in practice and its license is issued to residents. You can carry a handgun in: road side rest areas, vehicle, all areas of the state not listed as forbidden.

Rhode Island CCW Reciprocity Map

Reciprocity agreements between states allow citizens to travel with their firearms across state lines. These twenty-three states honor a Rhode Island gun permit for residents: 

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. These states allow a Rhode Island gun permit for non-residents, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

Rhode Island does not honor any other state’s gun permits.

  • Permit honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Issuing state

Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit and Laws

Rhode Island is a tough gun state and very reluctant to issue gun permits to residents or non-residents. Local police or the Attorney General’s office issue permits. Processing time for permits takes approximately 90 days. If you get a permit, you do not have to notify officers that you are carrying. Unless you are a gun dealer and transporting guns to another location (along with some other special circumstances), you cannot legally have a loaded weapon in your car unless you have a permit. Open carry is only allowed with a license. You can carry in restaurants that serve alcohol, but you cannot carry in state parks. You cannot carry your weapon if you are under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. The permit is good for four years and costs $40.

CCW Eligibility: Qualify or Pre-Qualify?

You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a gun permit in Rhode Island. You must live in Rhode Island or at least have a business located there. Or you may also be eligible if you live in another state and have a gun permit from that state. You must fear for your life or have other good reasons to need a firearm. You must be considered a “suitable person.” If you are prohibited in any other state from owning a gun, then you will be disqualified in Rhode Island. You must also obey all federal laws pertaining to gun permits, and you cannot have a felony, nor can you suffer from mental illness. You must also provide three typed, notarized references when you apply. You apply with the local police, but sometimes you will be referred to the Attorney General to get a license.

Rhode Island Gun Background Check

Rhode Island is not a “point of contact” state and does not have its own resources for running background checks. Therefore, licensed dealers must contact the FBI and use NCIS to obtain a background check before selling firearms to a buyer. Private sales must also be handled through a dealer with a background check performed. Gun permit holders are exempt from this rule. Sawed off shotguns, machine guns, silencers and some types of ammunition are illegal to sell or purchase in Rhode Island.

  • Permits
  • Handguns
  • Long Guns
  • Total

RI CCW and Pistol Permit Information

State Concealed Carry Requirements

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • The applicant must have a residence or place of business within the town the application is submitted in.
  • Or have a residence within the United States and permit/license to carry a handgun concealed upon his or her person issued by the authorities of any other state or subdivision of the United States.
  • The applicant has a good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property.
  • The applicant has any other proper reason to be licensed.
  • The applicant shall be a suitable person to be so licensed.
  • A person prohibited from having a firearm by any state or Federal Law, or court order is not eligible to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Federal law requirements

Gun CCW Permit Application

  1. Download the application under the FORMS tab.
  2. Complete the application form. It must be printed or typed or it will be returned.
  3. Application must be notarized.
  4. If applying through the AG, 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.
  5. Enclose two (2) 1” X 1” pictures of the applicant taken without headgear or glasses. This photo must be a clear, colored picture of the head and face. Please PRINT applicant’s name on the back of each picture. NO laminated photos will be accepted.
  6. Three (3) References AND reference letters are required for new AND renewal applications and are to be submitted along with the application. All three references are to TYPE (not handwritten) a letter for the applicant pertaining to the gun permit that is SIGNED, DATED AND MUST BE NOTARIZED. Reference letters must be written by the reference, not the applicant, and cannot be identical.
  7. Proof of qualification before a certified weapons instructor; i.e., N.R.A. Instructor or Police range instructor must be supplied along with a copy of the instructor’s NRA/FBI firearms instructor’s certification. Qualifications will only be accepted up to one year old and you cannot qualify yourself.
  8. Two types of positive identification must be submitted, photocopied, signed and dated by a Notary Public, attesting to be true copies.
  9. All NON-RESIDENT APPLICANTS must include a copy of the their home state permit.
  10. All new pistol permits issued must have a full set of applicant’s fingerprints submitted on a FBI FINGERPRINT APPLICANT CARD included with the application. Fingerprint card must be signed by applicant. This is not necessary for a renewal application.
  11. If the permit is to be used for employment, a TYPED AND SIGNED letter of explanation must be submitted on your employer’s letterhead and included with the application. Also, please include a copy of the business license as proof that the business exists.
  12. If the permit is not for employment, a typed letter must be submitted by the applicant stating the reasons why a permit is needed on a full time basis.
  13. All letters must be dated. They will not accept a photocopy of any signature.
  14. Retired Police Officers must submit a letter of verification from the Chief of Police of the department which they retired from stating that they have completed 20 years of good standing.
  15. A Forty dollar ($40.00) CHECK OR MONEY ORDER must be presented when picking up permit. DO NOT SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER WITH YOUR APPLICATION.
  16. Applicant will be notified by mail of approval or denial of permit. If approved, applicant must appear in person to pick up permit.

CCW Renewal

  • Rhode Island Pistol Permits must be renewed before they expire. You will not be notified by the Attorney General or Local Authorities that you need to renew your permit. The process to renew is almost the same as a new application except you don’t have to supply a set of fingerprints. The cost is $40.
  • Allow a maximum of 90 days for processing of your application due to the fact that this department is dependant on other agencies for information necessary to complete the application.

RI Concealed Carry License Fee information

Permit typeFees when getting a new permitRenewalCurrent license amendmentFingerprint scan feeFee for firearm classesAdditional state fees
License to carry a concealable weapon (handguns)$40.00$40.00N/A

Places Where You Can & Can’t Carry a Gun in Rhode Island

Road side rest areasYou cannot carry a firearm if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
VehicleAny place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law
All areas of the state not listed as Forbidden

Rhode Island CCW Contact

Rhode Island Bureau of Firearms


Monday – Friday:N/A


Address:Rhode Island Attorney General
150 South Main Street
City:Providence, RI 02903
Phone:(401) 274-4400

CCW Licensing Offices in Rhode Island

Barrington Police Department

Office Address
100 Federal Road Barrington, RI 2806

(401) 437-3935

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Bristol Police Department

Office Address
395 Metacom Avenue Bristol, RI 2809

(401) 253-6900

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Brown University Police Department

Office Address
75 Charlesfield Street Providence, RI 2912

(401) 863-3322

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Burrillville Police Department

Office Address
1477 Victory Highway Oakland, RI 2830

(401) 568-6255

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Central Falls Police Department

Office Address
160 Illinois Street Central Falls, RI 2863

(401) 727-7411

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Charlestown Police Department

Office Address
4901 Old Post Road Charlestown, RI 02813

(401) 364-1212

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Coventry Police Department

Office Address
1075 Main Street Coventry, RI 2816

(401) 826-1100

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Cranston Police Department

Office Address
5 Garfield Avenue Cranston, RI 2920

(401) 942-2211

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Reference Links

Counties in Rhode Island