Rhode Island Gun Permit

Rhode Island Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs

In Rhode Island, the possession of firearms is governed by specific laws and regulations, and obtaining a pistol permit is essential for both open and concealed carry. This article provides an in-depth overview of the gun permit process in Rhode Island, covering the application requirements, types of permits issued, reciprocity, costs, and frequently asked questions related to firearms possession in the state.

Rhode Island Gun Permit Summary

Rhode Island follows a shall-issue or may-issue policy for firearm possession. Residents can obtain a license from the local licensing unit, while the attorney general has the authority to issue permits for open carry and non-residents without a permit from their home state. A Rhode Island gun permit is also required for purchasing firearms within the state.

How to Get a Gun Permit in Rhode Island

To apply for a gun permit in Rhode Island, applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least twenty-one years old and have no disqualifications for firearms possession.

2. Concealed Carry Permit

Rhode Island is a licensed open carry state, but individuals must have a permit before openly carrying firearms. The minimum age requirement for an open carry permit is also twenty-one years.

3. Assault Weapons and Ammunition

The use of assault weapons and armor-piercing ammunition in Rhode Island is only allowed with permission from the state Attorney General. It is illegal to possess, manufacture, transfer, or sell these firearms without proper licensing.

Rhode Island Pistol Permit Requirements

The requirements for obtaining a pistol permit in Rhode Island include:

1. Residency

Applicants must either reside or have a business in the county where they are applying. Non-residents can also apply but must have a permit from their home state.

2. Good Cause for Concealed Carry

Applicants must demonstrate a good cause for concealed carry, such as a fear of attack or a need to protect property.

See also  Rhode Island Open Carry

3. Suitability

Applicants must meet the suitability standards set by Rhode Island’s laws and regulations.

4. No Prohibition

Applicants should not have any prohibition to possess firearms from any state or federal court.

5. Federal Law Compliance

All federal law requirements for the pistol permit application must be met.

Different Types of Gun Permits in Rhode Island

Rhode Island issues various types of permits for firearms, including:

1. State Permit to Purchase Handguns

Rhode Island offers a state permit to purchase handguns.

2. State Permit to Open Carry

Rhode Island is a licensed open-carry state and issues permits for open carry.

3. State Permit to Conceal Carry Handguns

A pistol permit is required for concealed carry of handguns in Rhode Island.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Gun License in Rhode Island?

The cost for both the initial application and renewal of a gun permit in Rhode Island is forty dollars.

Gun Permits Application and Renewal Law in Rhode Island

The process to apply for a gun permit in Rhode Island involves the following steps:

  1. Complete a Firearm Training Course: Applicants must complete a firearm training course in Rhode Island, which should be obtained within one year before the application.
  2. Obtain the Application: The application form can be downloaded online or obtained from a local law enforcement agency.
  3. Fill the Form and Provide Necessary Documents: The application form must be filled and notarized. It should be submitted along with letters from three references. Additional documents, such as FBI fingerprinted cards, identification documents, passport pictures, and birth certificates, must also be provided.
  4. Application Through the Attorney General: Applicants can apply through the state attorney general’s office or the local police office in their county of residence.
  5. Await Approval: After the waiting period, applicants will receive either an approval or denial mail. If approved, the permit must be picked up in person.
See also  Rhode Island Gun Laws

Gun Permit Reciprocity with Rhode Island

Rhode Island does not recognize permits issued in any other jurisdiction, making it essential for individuals to hold a Rhode Island pistol permit to possess firearms in the state.

States That Will Accept Rhode Island Pistol Permit

The following states will accept a Rhode Island pistol permit, but individuals must comply with the gun laws of those states while carrying firearms:

  • Alabama
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Puerto Rico

States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Rhode Island

Some states have restricted reciprocity with Rhode Island, allowing individuals to possess firearms with a Rhode Island pistol permit but imposing specific individual requirements:

  • Michigan
  • Texas

States That Have Permitless Carry Policy

Certain states have permitless carry laws, allowing individuals to carry firearms openly or concealed without a pistol permit. However, age limits and other restrictions may apply in these states:

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

Relevant Gun Laws, Permits, and Legislature in Rhode Island

Some relevant gun laws and regulations in Rhode Island include:

1. Possession of Firearms in Private Vehicles

Firearms can be carried in private vehicles, but they must be unloaded and inaccessible from the passenger side of the vehicle unless it has a trunk.

2. Possession of Firearms in Roadside Areas of the State

Carrying firearms is allowed in roadside areas of Rhode Island if the individual has a valid pistol permit.

3. Possession of Firearms in State Parks, Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas

Possession of firearms is prohibited in state forests and wildlife management areas, whether the individual holds a gun license or not.

4. Possession of Firearms in Restaurant and Bar Areas

Concealed carry of firearms is allowed in restaurant and bar areas, provided there are no specific prohibitions or restrictions, and the carrier is not under the influence of alcohol.

See also  Rhode Island Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

5. Possession of Firearms in Hotels

Hotels in Rhode Island can refuse accommodation to individuals in possession of firearms or dangerous weapons, irrespective of whether they have a permit.

Before visiting any establishment, it is essential to check their policies regarding firearms possession.


Obtaining a gun permit in Rhode Island is crucial for both open and concealed carry of firearms. Applicants must meet specific requirements and complete necessary training to ensure responsible firearms possession. It is essential to stay informed about the state’s reciprocity with other jurisdictions and comply with all relevant gun laws to exercise the right to bear arms responsibly and legally.


Q1. Do I Need a Permit to Conceal Carry Firearms in Rhode Island?

Yes, it is prohibited to conceal carry firearms in Rhode Island without a valid pistol permit.

Q2. For How Long Is a Rhode Island Concealed Weapon Permit Valid?

A Rhode Island pistol permit is valid for four years, after which individuals can apply for a renewal permit.

Q3. Can Non-Residents Apply for Rhode Island Firearm Permits?

Yes, non-residents can apply for a pistol license in Rhode Island. Those with a permit from their home state can apply with local authorities, while those without a permit must apply through the attorney general’s office.

Q4. Can I Change the Name and Address on My Rhode Island Gun License?

To change the name or address on a Rhode Island pistol permit, individuals must contact the local issuing department or the office of the Attorney General.

Q5. What Can I Do If I Lost My Rhode Island Permit or It Gets Stolen?

For missing or stolen permits in Rhode Island, individuals must contact the local licensing unit or the state Attorney General’s office.

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