Rhode Island has a May-issue policy for concealed carry permits, done at the level of the state attorney general or local police chief.

It issues CCW permits to both non-residents and residents of the state.

But you can only apply for a non-resident permit if you already have a license to carry from your state of residence

Only the state attorney general has the discretion to issue permits to non-residents that do not have a license to possess CCW from their state.

You must also have a probable cause for concealed carry before applying for the license.

Rhode Island Gun Laws

You can lawfully conceal carry in Rhode Island with a License to conceal carry a weapon that serves as the state CCW.

To apply for this CCW permit, reach out to either your local licensing authority of the state’s attorney general.

You must meet the minimum age requirement of twenty-one to conceal carry in the state.

Also, you have to give a good cause to carry, along with three people to stand in as your references.

Rhode Island CCW Reciprocity.

Rhode Island is one of the few states in the USA that does not accept a CCW permit issued by any other state.

Other aspects of the CCW permit includes the following:

  • States that will accept Rhode Island CCW permits: These states will allow you to conceal carry within their territory if you have a CCW permit issued by Rhode Island. There are eleven of them.
  • States with restricted reciprocity with Rhode Island: Two states fit into this category, but they both have various restrictions for Rhode Island CCW permit. They are Michigan and Texas. Michigan will only accept a resident-only CCW permit, while Texas will only take a license issued by the attorney general of Rhode Island.
  • States with permitless carry policies: You can conceal carry in these states with or without a CCW permit. However, you must meet all state requirements and restrictions to do so. There are fourteen of them.

Please note that before you conceal carry in any state, you must understand the gun laws and various restrictions for the possession of firearms in such a state.

Handle your firearms according to the state regulations and stay out of trouble at all times.

Location Restrictions For The Possession Of Firearm In Rhode Island

Just like every other state in the USA, Rhode Island has location restrictions for possession of firearms in some territories.

You are not allowed to conceal carry in this place, and violating this law can lead to a misdemeanor charge.

The only exception to this law is law enforcement officers and peacekeepers.

Hence, you must be aware of places where you are allowed to conceal carry and areas that are off-limits in the state.

Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In Rhode Island

  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in state/national forests, parks and wildlife management areas in the state.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in any part of the state, as long as you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substance.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in secured zones of an airport.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in private properties and buildings that have signage prohibiting firearms.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in places where federal law restricts the possession of firearms.

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Rhode Island

There are some misconceptions about concealed carry in Rhode Island due to some off-limit places in other states. However, in Rhode Island, you are not prohibited from concealed carry in the following areas or circumstances.

  • Restaurants and Bars: You are allowed to conceal carry in restaurants and bars, as long as you are not under the influence of alcohol, and no posts are restricting the possession of firearms in the place.
  • Private vehicle: You can conceal carry in your private car. However, you must be with your CCW permit.
  • Along roadsides: You can conceal carry along roadsides and in rest areas.
  • Places of worship: Rhode Island does not restrict the possession of firearms or concealed carry in places of worship. But those in charge can prohibit the possession of firearms since these places are also private properties.

Concealed Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In Rhode Island

The Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of the USA allows officers of the law, both active and retired, to conceal carry in the country without location restrictions or any form of limitation by state, municipalities and county laws.

In Rhode Island, law enforcement officers that retired after an active minimum period of twenty years, or officers that are out of service for physical disabilities, may get a license to conceal carry in the state, issued by the attorney general.

This does not include officers that are out of service due to any mental or psychological impairment.

Also, retired officers that qualify for LEOSA certification must do so in good standing.

This means that they did not have a disciplinary issue due to misconduct during active years.

Only officers that meet up with the qualifications from the act will be allowed to conceal carry without any location restriction or limitation by gun laws in municipalities and counties of Rhode Island.

Buying And Selling Of Firearms In Rhode Island

Before you buy, sell, transport, or transfer a firearm in Rhode Island, you must be familiar with all regulations and laws of the state.

Some of the things that you must know include the following:

Purchase Permits And Handgun Registration In Rhode Island

The Rhode Island license to carry concealed weapons also serves as a purchase permit in the state. This means that before you buy a firearm, you must obtain the CCW permit.

Another alternative to this is a standard two-hours training course conducted by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Upon completion of this course, you will get a certificate issued by the department.

This is called a safety certificate, and you can use it to purchase a firearm in the state.

There are no firearm registrations in Rhode Island

Criminal Record Background Check In Rhode Island

Another essential requirement that you must meet before a gun purchase in Rhode Island is the criminal background check.

Both private sellers and licensed sellers of firearms in Rhode Island must complete the check before selling a gun in the state.

The sellers are to make this check via the state police department or a local police chief.

For this procedure, you must complete an application form and append your signature.

The licensed seller will forward this application form to the police department. The police department will, in turn, verify that you meet all recommendations to purchase a firearm.

Those exempted from completing a criminal record check for the purchase of firearms in Rhode Island include the following:

  • Those with a Rhode Island CCW permit.
  • Law enforcement officers, including marshals and correctional officers.

Waiting Period For The Purchase Of Firearm In Rhode Island

There is a required seven days period to complete the sales of a firearm in Rhode Island.

This is the time needed by the police department to complete the criminal record background check.

Age Requirement For The Possession Of Firearms In Rhode Island

You must be at least eighteen years old to possess or transport a firearm in Rhode Island.

Note that this is different from the age requirement of twenty-one for a concealed carry permit in the state.

Possession If Firearm On Personal Properties

You are allowed to possess a firearm in your home of residence, your business, or any place you lease or rent, without an issued permit.

Process For Purchasing Firearms In Rhode Island

Before you buy a firearm in Rhode Island, you must possess either of these cards:

  • An orange card: That signifies that you completed a hunter training course.
  • A blue card: That signifies that you completed the Department of Environmental Management course.

The blue card also means that you passed the state firearm safety exam that comprises fifty multiple-choice questions.

You can sit for the exam at any licensed firearm dealer club or a sporting club in the state.

The exam is free of charge, and you can obtain the study material by putting a call through to the Fish and Wildlife department. You can also send an email.

The cutoff mark for this exam is eighty percent.

If you are a member of the United States Armed Forces, then you do not have to sit for this exam.

You will get the blue card by submitting your national guard ID card at the Fish and Wildlife department.

Whether you are buying your firearm via a private or federally licensed seller, you have to complete the purchase application form.

The dealer will file this form with the police department that will conduct the NICS background check and provide a result after seven days.

If your check comes out clean after the waiting period, you can go and complete the purchase.

Make sure that you keep your receipt at all times, in case you have to prove ownership of your firearm.

Castle Doctrine In Rhode Island

Rhode Island is one of the castle doctrine states in the USA.

According to castle doctrine law in the state, if you are the owner, a tenant, or someone who occupies a place, you do not have any duty to retreat, and you can fight off an intruder or any threat with the necessary force for self-defense.

The use of necessary force in the context may be a deadly force, especially when it can help prevent severe bodily harm or imminent death.

Note that if you are outside your home of residence, you are not protected by the castle doctrine law, and you must retreat from any threat or attack.

If Rhode Island castle doctrine law is justifiable, you will get immunity from civil liability.   

Rhode Island CCW Permit Requirements

You must meet all Rhode Island concealed carry permit requirements before you apply for a CCW permit in the state.

The requirements include the following:

  • You must meet the minimum age requirements of twenty-one.
  • You must reside or have a business place in the county you are making the application from. If you are a non-resident, you must have a CCW permit from your state of residence.
  • You must have a good cause for concealed carry. This could be a fear of attack for injury to yourself or the loss of your property.
  • You must be suitable for the CCW permit application according to the laws and standards of Rhode Island.
  • You must not have a prohibition to possess a firearm from any state or a federal court.
  • You must meet all federal law requirements for the CCW permit application in Rhode Island.

How To Apply For CCW Permit In Rhode Island

You can start Rhode Island concealed carry permit applications if you meet all requirements provided by the state.

The application process includes the following:

Complete A Firearm Training Course.

You just complete a Rhode Island concealed carry permit course for firearm training, obtained one year before the application.

This training can also be a Rhode Island concealed carry permit online course.

Obtain Application

You can either download the application form or pick it up from a local law enforcement agency.

Fill the form and have it notarized along with your letter from three references.

Application Through An Attorney General

If you are applying through the state attorney general, sign and stamp the form at your local police office in your town or county of residence.

Submit The Necessary Documents

Some of the documents you are to provide with your application and reference letters are:

  • Two FBI fingerprinted cards.
  • Two identification documents.
  • Two passport pictures.
  • Two copies of your birth certificate or your passport.
  • Your firearm training course with a recognized certification from the instructor.
  • Non-residents must provide a CCW license from their state of residence.
  • If the CCW permit is for work reasons, submit a letter explaining this along with a letterhead from the company and a business license.
  • For other reasons, submit a letter explaining why you need the permit.

Receive Mail

You will receive either an approval or a denial mail after the waiting period. You must pick up the permit in person if you get an approval mail

Rhode Island Concealed Carry FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about CCW in Rhode Island.

How Long Is My Rhode Island CCW Permit Valid For?

The permit is valid for four years, after which you need to apply for a renewal permit.

How Much Is Rhode Island CCW Permit Application?

Both initial and renewal permit applications cost forty dollars

How Long Will It Take To Get My Rhode Island CCW Permit?

The processing period for the permit is ninety days.

Additional Resources

Rhode Island Gun Laws
Rhode Island Open Carry Laws
Rhode Island Gun Permit Laws

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