Rhode Island Open Carry

Rhode Island Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

Rhode Island, like many other states in the USA, allows its residents to legally carry and use firearms. However, it is essential to understand that there are several conditions and regulations that one must adhere to in order to stay compliant with the state law and avoid any legal consequences.

In this article, we will explore the laws surrounding open carry and firearm possession in Rhode Island to provide a comprehensive understanding of what is allowed and what is prohibited.

Rhode Island Gun Laws Summary

Before diving into the details of open carry, it is crucial to understand the general framework of Rhode Island’s gun laws. The state operates under both a shall-issue and a may-issue policy. Local police chiefs are responsible for processing license applications for residents, while the state attorney general may issue licenses to non-residents.

The license granted for concealed carry also doubles as a purchase permit for firearms, but it does not exempt individuals from undergoing a criminal record background check. Applicants for the license must be at least twenty-one years old, and the license is valid for four years, requiring renewal afterward.

It is essential to complete a state-approved firearm training, lasting at least two hours, overseen by a certified instructor, before applying for the license. The state also enforces red flag laws, granting extreme risk protection orders to individuals who are deemed a threat to themselves or public safety, restricting their ability to purchase and possess firearms.

Is Open Carry Legal In Rhode Island?

Yes, open carry is legal in Rhode Island, provided that certain conditions are met. The minimum age requirement for open carry is twenty-one years old, and individuals must not have any restriction order or prohibition against the use of firearms. Obtaining a Rhode Island license before engaging in open carry is essential. However, not all firearms are legal for open carry in the state. Assault firearms such as machine guns and semi-automatic weapons are unlawful, except with permission from the state attorney general, with exceptions for military members and law enforcement officers.

See also  Rhode Island Gun Laws

Rhode Island Open Gun Law Quick View

For a quick reference to Rhode Island’s open carry laws, here is a summary:

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.
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 lawYesYesYou have to stand your ground in your home or any property you own or occupy.
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 a criminal record background check through a local police station.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Rhode Island?

Rhode Island allows open carry and possession of firearms in certain parts of the state, including:

  1. Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in the restaurant area as long as there is no signage restricting the use of firearms on the premises.
  2. Roadside areas: You can open carry in roadside areas of the state.
  3. State parks and forests: You can open carry and possess firearms in parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.
  4. Places of worship: Rhode Island does not prohibit the possession of firearms in churches and mosques. However, if the management of the place of worship does not permit firearms, you must keep it away.
See also  Rhode Island Gun PermitRhode Island Gun PermitRhode Island Gun Permit

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Rhode Island?

While open carry is generally allowed in certain areas, there are specific locations where it is prohibited in Rhode Island:

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

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislation In Rhode Island

In addition to the open carry laws, several other gun-related laws are relevant to residents and visitors of Rhode Island:

  1. Ammunition Restriction: Rhode Island prohibits the use of armor-piercing ammunition.
  2. Preemption Law: The state reserves all power to regulate and prohibit the use of firearms within its jurisdiction, but local governments may pass laws for public safety and the regulation of firearm discharge within their boundaries.
  3. Brandishing Of Firearms: The deliberate use of firearms recklessly or to threaten someone is considered improper conduct and can lead to prosecution.
  4. Red Flag Law: Rhode Island enforces red flag laws that allow law enforcement officers to file petitions to prohibit an individual from using firearms in the state if they are deemed a risk to themselves or others.
  5. Under The Influence Of Alcohol: You cannot possess or use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances.
  6. Open Carry While Hunting: You can open carry while hunting in Rhode Island, including bow hunting, but using a firearm to take an animal while bow hunting is illegal, and hunters are limited to one firearm each.
  7. Hunter Harassment Laws: Rhode Island has hunter harassment laws that protect licensed hunting activity from interference or disturbance.
See also  Rhode Island Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

Rhode Island Gun Online Permit

Rhode Island does not currently offer an online permitting system for gun licenses. Applications for the state’s pistol/revolver safety certificate must be submitted in person at local police departments.


while Rhode Island permits open carry, it is crucial to comply with all state laws and regulations to avoid legal issues. Always ensure you have the appropriate license and meet the necessary criteria before carrying firearms in the state. Following the guidelines and respecting restricted areas will help maintain safety and uphold the state’s gun laws.


Q1. At What Age Can I Conceal Carry In Rhode Island?

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

Q2. 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.

Q3. Must I Apply For A Permit Before I Conceal Carry In Rhode Island?

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

Q4. Can you drive with a gun in your car in Rhode Island?

Yes, Rhode Island allows the transportation of unloaded firearms in vehicles, provided they are stored in a secure, locked container not easily accessible to occupants. No concealed carry permit is needed just for vehicle transport.

Q5. Is RI a stand-your-ground state?

No, Rhode Island does not have an explicit stand-your-ground law. Duty to retreat applies if safely possible before meeting force with force in public areas outside the home if lethally threatened.

Q6. Are AR-15s banned in Rhode Island?

No, Rhode Island does not have an assault weapons ban prohibiting AR-15 rifles and similar semi-automatics. However, possession requires a state permit to purchase a certificate for documentation, even if bought out of state.

Q7. Do I Need A Different Permit For Open And Concealed Carry In Rhode Island?

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

Q8. 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 older.

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