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Rhode Island Gun Control Laws

There are minimal federal regulations on gun purchases and ownership (see the ATF's explanation of the National Firearms Act), as most gun control laws are enforced at the state level. This is a hotly debated topic in the U.S., often pitting the concerns of public safety against federal constitutional rights.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution originally protected the rights of citizens to defend themselves against an invading army, but has since been interpreted much more broadly to include general protection. State gun control laws vary by state and by region, often along ideological lines. While some states require gun purchasers to wait a certain period of time before taking ownership of a gun, other states have as few restrictions as is federally allowed.

Rhode Island Gun Control Laws at a Glance

The state of Rhode Island requires gun purchasers to wait seven days to pick up a firearm after purchasing, in which time a background check is conducted. Those wishing to carry a concealed handgun must fill out an application and wait up to 90 days for authorization.

Additional details of Rhode Island's gun control laws are listed below. See Gun Laws for related information.

Code Section 11-47-2, et seq.
Illegal Arms Sawed-off shotgun or rifle; machine gun; silencer; armor piercing bullets; defaced firearm
Waiting Period 7 days, during which a background check is conducted.
Concealed Carry

Rhode Island is a "shall issue" state, which means all applicants that meet the minimum requirements for a concealed weapon shall be issued a permit.

Must be 21 and over; 90-day processing time; valid for four years (may renew).

Who May Not Own 1. Illegal aliens; 2. Mentally incompetent under treatment/confinement; 3. Drug addict adjudicated or in treatment; 4. Habitual drunkard adjudicated or in treatment; 5. Convicted of crime of violence; 6. Fugitive from justice 7. Minors (under 18) (unless holds a permit or under adult supervision)
Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds Felony. 11-47-60; 11.-47-60.2

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed lesiglation or voter-approved ballot initiatives, decisions from higher courts, and other means. You should contact a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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