You can legally make use of firearms in Rhode Island.

However, there are a lot of conditions for this. There are location restrictions and firearms that are unlawful.

You need to pay attention to this so as not to infringe on the state law if you want to open carry.

Rhode Island Gun Laws Summary

Rhode Island issues a license to conceal carry weapons for the possession of firearms.

The state has a shall-issue and a may-issue policy. The local police chief is in charge of the license application, and the state attorney general may issue licenses to non-residents too.

The license also serves as a purchase permit to buy firearms in the state, but it does not exempt you from undergoing the criminal record background check.

The age requirement to apply for this license is twenty-one years old.

Is Open Carry Legal In Rhode Island?

Yes. You can open carry in Rhode Island as long as you meet the required age of twenty-one, and you do not have any restriction order or prohibition against the use of firearms.

Open Carry Laws In Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is a licensed open carry state, and you must first obtain the state license before you can open carry.

However, not all firearms are legal in the state. Assault firearms like machine guns and semi-automatic weapons are unlawful except with permission from the state attorney general.

The only exceptions to this are military members and law enforcement officers.

Rhode Island Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoYesYou must obtain a Rhode Island license to open carry a firearm in the state.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoRhode Island does not have any requirement to register firearms for open carry in the state
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoThe state prohibits the possession of assault weapons except for rare cases after getting a license from the attorney general.
Magazine limitNoNoThere is no limit to the number of rounds a firearm magazine can contain.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredRhode Island does not issue any other license to firearm owners in the state.
Red flag lawYesYesRhode Island issues extreme risk protection order against residents of the state that are a threat to themselves or public safety
Castle doctrine lawYesYesYou have a duty to stand your ground in your home or any property you own or occupy.
Background check for private dealersYesYesEvery firearm dealer in the state must complete the criminal record background check through a local police station.
PreemptionYesYesThe state reserves all rights to regulate the use of firearms. However, local governments can enact laws for public safety and regulate the discharge of firearms within their boundaries.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesYou need a Rhode Island license to conceal carry in the state.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you are with a Rhode Island license.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoThe state prohibits open carry and possession of firearms in schools, colleges, universities, and other technical institutions.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Rhode Island?

Rhode Island does not prohibit open carry and possession of firearms in the following parts of the state:

  • Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in the restaurant area as long as you there is no signage restricting the use of firearms on the premises.
  • Roadside area: You can open carry in roadsides areas of the state.
  • State parks and forests: You can open carry and possess firearms in parks and forests of the state, as well as wildlife management areas.
  • Places of worship: Rhode Island does not prohibit the possession of firearms in churches and mosques. But if the management does not permit you to use your gun on the premises, you must keep it away.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Rhode Island?

You cannot open carry in the following areas of Rhode Island:

  • Schools: You cannot open carry in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, or universities, including any facility owned by an educational institution in the state.
  • Under the influence: You cannot open carry while under the influence of alcohol in any part of the state.
  • Secured airport areas: You cannot open carry or possess your firearm in secured zones of an airport.
  • Prisons: You cannot open carry in prisons or jails in Rhode Island.
  • Government Buildings: You cannot possess firearms or open carry in any building or property owned by the government of the state.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot open carry in any area prohibited by federal or state gun laws.

FAQs About Open Carry Rhode Island?

Some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry in Rhode Island include the following.

Do I Need A Permit To Open Carry In Rhode Island?

Yes. To open carry in Rhode Island, you must have the state’s license to carry.

Must I Apply For A Permit Before I Conceal Carry In Rhode Island?

Yes. You can only conceal carry in the state with Rhode Island license to carry concealed weapons.

Do I Need A Different Permit For Open And Concealed Carry In Rhode Island?

No. The same permit license is valid for both open and concealed carry in the state.

What Is The Age For Open Carry In Rhode Island?

You can open carry in Rhode Island if you are twenty-one years old or more.

At What Age Can I Conceal Carry In Rhode Island?

The age requirement for concealed carry in the state is twenty-one years old.

What Is The Minimum Age Requirement To Apply For Rhode Island License To Carry?

You must be at least twenty-one years old before you can apply for a Rhode Island firearm license.

Is Rhode Island A Red Flag State?

Yes. The state will issue a protection order to citizens who are at risk, upon getting a petition form a law enforcement agency.

Such a person will not be able to buy, sell, and possess firearms in the state.

Is Rhode Island License Valid For Non-residents Of The State?

Yes. Non-residents that have permits to use firearms from their state can apply for Rhode Island License to carry in a local county.

Non-residents that do not have a permit, prior, can apply for the Rhode Island license. Still, the state attorney general will have the discretion to either approve or deny such application.

The application process is similar to that of residents of the state.

Is Rhode Island A Constitutional Carry State?

No. Rhode Island does not permit constitutional carry in the state.

Does Rhode Island Allow The Open Carry Of Knives In The State?

Knives are legalized in Rhode Island, so long the intention is not to use it for any unlawful activity or against another person.

However, Rhode Island prohibits the use of weapons like daggers, stiletto, bowie knives, or any other knife that has a blade with a length of more than three inches.

Also, you cannot possess knives in restricted areas of the state like schools.

Are There Firearm Restrictions In Rhode Island?

Yes. The state prohibits the manufacture, sales, purchase, and possession of machine guns.

The only exception to this is in rare cases where the state attorney general issues a license for the use of such firearms within the state’s jurisdiction.   

Must I Apply For A Purchase Permit Before Buying Firearms In Rhode Island?

Rhode Island’s license to carry firearms also serves as the state permit for purchasing firearms.

You must own this license before you buy a firearm in the state.

Do I Need To Complete A Criminal Record Background Check To Buy Firearms In Rhode Island?

Yes. All firearm dealers in the state must complete a criminal record background check through a local police station or the sheriff’s office.

The maximum duration to complete this check is one week.

For How Long Is Rhode Island License To Carry Valid In The State?

Your license is valid for four years, after which you have to apply for a renewal.

Am I Under Any Obligation To Inform A Law Enforcement Officer About My Possession Of Firearms In Rhode Island?

No, you do not have any duty to inform the police or law enforcement officer you come across with about your firearm except when requested to do so.

Does Rhode Island Have A Castle Doctrine Policy?

Yes. The state has a stand your ground rule for anybody in a place that he or she owns, either by being a tenant or just an occupant.

Can I Make Use Of deadly Force For Self-defense In Rhode Island?

Yes. Rhode Island permits the use of lethal or deadly force when you feel that an attack can lead to bodily harm or imminent death while defending yourself and your territory.

There is no duty to retreat during self-defense in a dwelling place.

Must I Undergo A Firearm Training Before Applying For Rhode Island License To Carry?

Yes. You must apply for a state-approved firearm training, and obtain a certificate from that training.

The duration for the training is at least two hours, with a state-certified instructor overseeing it.

Must I Register My Firearm After Purchase In Rhode Island?

No. The state does not have any requirement for the registration of firearms after buying.

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In Rhode Island

Some of Rhode Island gun laws that are relevant to situations of open carry in the state include the following:

Ammunition Restriction

It is a prohibition to make use of armored-piercing ammunition in Rhode Island.

Preemption Law

Rhode Island preempts local gun laws. The state reserves all power to regulate and prohibit the use of firearms within its jurisdiction.

However, local governments have permission to pass laws that will protect the general public from the dangers of firearms and other deadly weapons.

Rhode Island gun laws also prohibit the discharge of firearms in any place not licensed for range shooting, except on a property owned by a firearm user.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Rhode Island gun law defines the deliberate use of firearms recklessly, or to threaten someone, as improper conduct.

Anybody that is involved in this could face prosecution.

Red Flag Law

Rhode Island enforces red flag law in the state such that a law enforcement officer can file a petition that will prohibit an individual from making use of firearms in the state.

The petition wild also restricts such persons from buying, selling, or possessing a firearm in Rhode Island, as long as the order remains valid.

Individuals issued with protection orders are a risk to themselves or the society at large.

Under The Influence Of Alcohol

You cannot possess or use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance controlled by the Drug enforcement agency in the state.

Open Carry While Hunting

You can open carry while hunting in the state, and this includes bow hunting.

However, it is illegal to use the firearm to take an animal while bow hunting, and the maximum gun per hunter is just one.

Rhode Island has hunter harassment laws in the state.

Nobody shall disturb or interfere with hunting activity while in a licensed location.

Involving is any of the following is a violation of this law:

  • Pursue or disturb wildlife just to prevent a licensed hunting activity by a person lawfully taking games.
  • Restrict, disturb, or harass a hunter who is taking part in legal hunting activity.
  • Using any form of stimuli to disturb wildlife in such a way that prevents or makes hunting more difficult.
  • Build barriers to restrict movement and access to a property licensed for hunting or trapping of animals.
  • Place himself or herself in line with a hunter’s live fire.
  • Impact the atmosphere of a privately or publicly owned property used for a legal hunting activity.
  • Trespass on any privately or publicly owned property in the state, without permission from the appropriate authority or the owner of the property.

Additional Resources

Rhode Island Gun Laws
Rhode Island Concealed Carry Laws
Rhode Island Gun Permit Laws

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