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Rhode Island Concealed Carry Permit Information

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Rhode Island Concealed Carry FAQ’s

Does Rhode Island issue concealed carry permits?

Yes, Rhode Island issues Rhode Island Pistol Permits. Whether they are a Shall Issue state or a May Issue state is a gray area. The Rhode Island Attorney General can issue Pistol Permits but Local Officials also issue them. The law for the Attorney General uses the wording “may” while the law for Local Officials uses the wording “shall”.

Many Local Authorities won’t issue pistol permits referring you to apply through the Attorney General.

Attorney General Law

“§ 11-47-18 License or permit issued by attorney general on showing of need – Issuance to retired police officers. – (a) The attorney general may issue a license or permit to any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over to carry a pistol or revolver, whether concealed or not, upon his or her person upon a proper showing of need, subject to the provisions of §§ 11-47-12 and 11-47-15; that license or permit may be issued notwithstanding the provisions of § 11-47-7.

(b) All state police officers and permanent members of city and town police forces of this state who have retired in good standing after at least twenty (20) years of service, or retired in good standing due to a physical disability other than a psychological impairment, may be issued a license or permit by the attorney general subject to the provisions of §§ 11-47-12 and 11-47-15. The term “in good standing” means that at the time of retirement, the police officer was not facing disciplinary action that could have resulted in his or her termination for misconduct or unfitness for office. Any member of the licensing authority, and its agents, servants, and employees shall be immune from suit in any action, civil or criminal, based upon any official act or decision, performed or made in good faith in issuing a license or permit under this chapter.

(c) Notwithstanding any other chapter or section of the general laws of the state of Rhode Island, the attorney general shall not provide or release to any individual, firm, association or corporation the name, address, or date of birth of any person who has held or currently holds a license or permit to carry a concealed pistol or revolver. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the release of any statistical data of a general nature relative to age, gender and racial or ethnic background nor shall it be construed to prevent the release of information to parties involved in any prosecution of § 11-47-8 or in response to a lawful subpoena in any criminal or civil action which said person is a party to such action.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1938, ch. 404, § 7; P.L. 1950, ch. 2452, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 11-47-13; G.L. 1956, § 11-47-18; P.L. 1959, ch. 75, § 1; P.L. 1975, ch. 278, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 387, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 396, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 414, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 268, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 368, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 438, § 1.)” [Source]

Local Authorities Law

Ҥ 11-47-11 License or permit to carry concealed pistol or revolver. Р(a) The licensing authorities of any city or town shall, upon application of any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over having a bona fide residence or place of business within the city or town, or of any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over having a bona fide residence within the United States and a license or permit to carry a pistol or revolver concealed upon his or her person issued by the authorities of any other state or subdivision of the United States, issue a license or permit to the person to carry concealed upon his or her person a pistol or revolver everywhere within this state for four (4) years from date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol or revolver, and that he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed. The license or permit shall be in triplicate in form to be prescribed by the attorney general and shall bear the fingerprint, photograph, name, address, description, and signature of the licensee and the reason given for desiring a license or permit and in no case shall it contain the serial number of any firearm. The original shall be delivered to the licensee. Any member of the licensing authority, its agents, servants, and employees shall be immune from suit in any action, civil or criminal, based upon any official act or decision, performed or made in good faith in issuing a license or permit under this chapter.

(b) Notwithstanding any other chapter or section of the general laws of the state of Rhode Island, the licensing authority of any city or town shall not provide or release to any individual, firm, association or corporation the name, address, or date of birth of any person who has held or currently holds a license or permit to carry a concealed pistol or revolver. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the release of any statistical data of a general nature relative to age, gender and racial or ethnic background nor shall it be construed to prevent the release of information to parties involved in any prosecution of § 11-47-8 or in response to a lawful subpoena in any criminal or civil action which the person is a party to that action. ” [Source]

On May 20, 2013, Senate Bill 286 was signed into law and took effect on August 1, 2013. This makes Rhode Island a Shall Issue State. Sheriff’s are required to issue or deny the concealed carry application within thirty (30) days. Upon denials, applicants will receive a written notice and have the chance to appeal the denial.

Who issues Rhode Island Pistol Permits

Rhode Island Attorney Generals and Local Authorities can issue Rhode Island Pistol Permits. Please see the questions above for more details.

Are background checks required for a Rhode Island Pistol Permit?

Yes. Upon receiving the applications (Attorney General or Local Authorities), they will then check your background with state, local and Federal law enforcement databases. They may also check other sources that contain pending criminal cases, restraining orders, court records and/or discrepancies in the applicant’s background, including prior history of mental illness. [Source] [Source]

How long is a Rhode Island Pistol Permit valid for?

Rhode Island Pistol Permits are valid for 4 years. [Source]

What is the processing time for a Rhode Island Pistol Permit?

The processing time for a Rhode Island Pistol permit is a maximum of 90 days. [Source]

How much does a Rhode Island Pistol Permit cost?

The cost for a Rhode Island Pistol Permit is $40. This is paid upon picking up the permit and must be a check or money order. Do not send it with your application. [Source]

What are the requirements for a Rhode Island Pistol Permit?

All applicants applying for a Rhode Island Pistol Permit must:

  • Completed Application Form. It must be printed or typed or it will be returned
  • Application must be notarized.
  • If applying through the AG, the application must be signed or stamped by the local Police Chief or a city hall official in the city or town of the applicant’s residence.
  • Enclose two (2) 1” X 1” pictures of the applicant taken without headgear or glasses. This photo must be a clear, colored picture of the head and face. Please PRINT applicant’s name on the back of each picture. NO laminated photos will be accepted.
  • Three (3) References AND reference letters are required for new AND renewal applications and are to be submitted along with the application. All three references are to TYPE (not handwritten) a letter for the applicant pertaining to the gun permit that is SIGNED, DATED AND MUST BE NOTARIZED. Reference letters must be written by the reference, not the applicant, and cannot be identical.
  • Proof of qualification before a certified weapons instructor; i.e., N.R.A. Instructor or Police range instructor must be supplied along with a copy of the instructor’s NRA/FBI firearms instructor’s certification. Qualifications will only be accepted up to one year old and you cannot qualify yourself.
  • Two types of positive identification must be submitted, photocopied, signed and dated by a Notary Public, attesting to be true copies.
  • All NON-RESIDENT APPLICANTS must include a copy of the their home state permit
  • All new pistol permits issued from this office must have a full set of applicant’s fingerprints submitted on a FBI FINGERPRINT APPLICANT CARD [FD-258 (Rev. 12-29-82)] included with be application. Fingerprint card must be signed by applicant. This is not necessary for a renewal application
  • If the permit is to be used for employment, a TYPED AND SIGNED letter of explanation must be submitted on your employer’s letterhead and included with the application. Also, please include a copy of the business license as proof that the business exists.
  • If the permit is not for employment, a typed letter must be submitted by the applicant stating the reasons why a permit is needed on a full time basis. All letters must be dated. We will not accept a photocopy of any signature.
  • Retired Police Officers applying under 11-47-18 must submit a letter of verification from the Chief of Police of the department which they retired from stating that they have completed 20 years of good standing.
  • A Forty dollar ($40.00) CHECK OR MONEY ORDER must be presented when picking up permit. DO NOT SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER WITH YOUR APPLICATION.
  • Applicant will be notified by mail of approval or denial of permit. If approved, applicant must appear in person to pick up permit. This application, fingerprint card, and photo’s become part of the records of the Attorney General and will not be returned.
  • All permits will expire FOUR (4) YEARS from the date of issue. Also, the renewal of your permit is your obligation. No notification of expiration of the permit will be sent to you. Allow a maximum of 90 DAYS for processing of your application due to the fact that this department is dependant on other agencies for information necessary to complete the application.
  • [Source

How do I renew my Rhode Island Pistol Permit and what is the cost?

Rhode Island Pistol Permits must be renewed before they expire. You will not be notified by the Attorney General or Local Authorities that you need to renew your permit. The process to renew is almost the same as a new application except you don’t have to supply a set of fingerprints. The cost is $40.

Use our Concealed Carry Permit Reminder to get email notifications before your permit expires./toggle]

If you have a name change or a change of address, contact the Attorney General or your local authorities depending on who issued your permit to make the change on your Rhode Island Pistol Permit.

What do you do if your Rhode Island Pistol Permit is lost, stolen or damaged?

If your Rhode Island Pistol Permit is lost, stolen or damaged, contact contact the Attorney General or your local authorities depending on who issued your permit to obtain a duplicate.

Do I need to inform Law Enforcement that I am carrying a concealed weapon?

From what we have found in our research, in Rhode Island there is no duty to inform law enforcement when you are carrying a concealed weapon in the State of Rhode Island. [Source]

What are the laws for carrying a firearm in an automobile in Rhode Island?

Residents of Rhode Island without a Pistol Permit are allowed to transport handguns in their vehicle if:

  • The handguns are merchandise
  • The handguns are unloaded and are being transported from the place of purchase to your home or place of business
  • You are moving the handguns from one place of living or business to another
  • You are transporting the handgun to or from a target practice range (handgun must be broken down, unloaded and secured in separate container or openly carried.)

Residents of other states with a valid concealed carry permit issued by another state are allowed to carry a handgun in the vehicle or on their person, concealed or not, as long as they are transporting the firearms through Rhode Island.

Unloaded rifles and shotguns can be transported in your vehicle without a permit.

What places are off-limits when carrying a concealed weapon in Rhode Island?

Other than federal restrictions, it is illegal to carry a weapon while under the influence of liqour or drugs. [Source]

Does Rhode Island have a Stand Your Ground Law AKA Castle Doctrine Law?

Yes, Rhode Island is a Castle Doctrine state and has a stand-your-ground law. [Source]

What are the laws involving alcohol and carrying a concealed weapon in Rhode Island?

It is illegal to carry a weapon while under the influence of liquor or drugs. [Source]

Does Rhode Island have laws for No Gun signs?

There is no clear law or answer as to whether No Gun Signs have the force of law in the state of Rhode Island. When in doubt, treat it as having the force of law.

What are the Rhode Island Open Carry laws?

Please visit our Rhode Island Open Carry page for more information.


Rhode Island Concealed Carry Maps

Changelog

11/5/2013 – Format updated along with all information.

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  • Harris

    I still stick to the answer that unless you know someone in RI (like a politician) or being a retired LEO in good standing then you won’t ever get a CCW in this state.

    “Its better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6″

    • George

      The above statement is not true. There are many permit holders in the state of RI including myself….and I am not retired LEO and I don’t know any politicians on a personal level. You just have be persistent and WANT to obtain a permit.

      • Glock Owner

        George,
        How did you get your permit? What reasoning did you give or did you get yours signed by your local police department? How many times did you have to try and get the AG to sign off?

      • bigdollars99

        they say you need to have a “need” or the Attorney General will deny you.  what better need than to protect yourself?

        • lauren

          my “need” would be.

          Constitution of the USA 2nd Amendment – the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

          also the Constitution of the state of RI article 1 section 22 – the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

      • David

        Yeah George the state of Rhode Island slowly took the RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS and turned into a privilage a shall issue without proving need to the state attorney generals office. Now its a privilage not a right. Our RI State Constitution has slowly been raped. 

  • Willgrant

    study a Martial Art

    • Tyler M

      Martial arts will take the average person too long and further? 97% of them just aren’t practical to use in a REAL street fight. Especially when someone has the advantage of leverage and surprise.

  • B2bomber88

    What ever happened to “all lawfull purposes” being the only reason u needed.

    • Crow720

      It should be “Protection of life and/or property”. It’s not lawful to kill someone no matter the circumstances. Think about it….

      • Lauren

        rhode island is a castle doctrine and stand your ground state. so in sense it is lawful to kill someone who is threatening your life.

      • John

        I disagree its lawful for the military to kill someone threatening their life, your life, and the national security, there are times when it is lawful to kill. every one has the right and ability to use deadly force for the purposes of self defense

  • Hallchristopher22

    Someone needs to look at RI’s “may issue” now all of a sudden you need 3 references to type a letter and send it in with your application!? Plain Crazy. Doesn’t RI know that criminals have no boundaries, they don’t care if you’re handicap, they don’t care if you’re a single mom or elderly..”disarming the innocent is not PROTECTING the innocent!”

  • Jeff

    Um, maybe because the congressman got paralyzed by a bullet??? That might have something to do with it. 3 letters of reference is not much to ask. Bearing arms is not in reference to a sidearm. You’re talking about CONCEALED weapons. Act accordingly and have a little respect/healthy fear for the weapons you are talking about. They’re not toys. I support your rights too but you gotta stop whining and realize that there are a lot of morons out there who were never taught how to handle a gun or about the amount of damage it can do.

    • Gary

      5. Proof of qualification before a certified weapons instructor; i.e., N.R.A. Instructor or Police range instructor must be supplied. Along with a copy of the instructor’s NRA/FBI firearms instructor’s certification. This is enough by any satndard. It may be denied still but no other reference should be asked for. The AG can call up the instructor and ask him personally if he needs to.

    • John

      That Congressmen was shot in the police locker room by a cop.

  • Rememberkinggeorge

    Shall not be infringed is in place in the Constitution for two reasons
    1. To prevent the government from throwing your butt in jail for simply having or carrying a weapon.
    2. To keep the citizen armed in order to resist the tyranny of an abusive centralized government and the tyranny of the criminal element (these are often one & the same)

    Last time I looked RI was part of this country under ithe US Constitution. All of the requirements that RI imposes on law abiding citizens concerning weapons are the very infringements intended to be eliminated by our our founding fathers. RI is blatant in its violation of its citizens’ constitutional rights not to mention the rights of every none RI citizen that may have the occasion to pass through it.

  • matt

    Just got told by my towns police chief that unless i can prove that i need one, he will not approve my permit. Im a little stuck on what to do now….

    • Jay

      What do you do for work? I personally handle money (large amounts) in “seedy” areas which was my rationale.

      • matt

        Im a police officer by trade.. currently not active and going to school (yay gi bill) and looking for suitable employment.

  • Jay

    RI is a very interesting state when it comes firearms. They are laxed compared to our nieghboring states, yet strict with its citizens. Technology exists to speed up the process of purchase to transfer but it’s not implemented. CCW permits are very rare (per capa) yet should be a necessity given professions or fundemental beliefs. My biggest gripe with the permit process itself is justifying the “need”. I understand and support the course, the caliber restrictions, the referals, and even the local police approval (to an extent). What I don’t understand is how a shall issue – may issue – don’t issue system is constitutional or even acceptable. I feel that If an issue was made out of this (insert NRA support) we could see a change.
    One more note: 56% of RI Citizens own a firearm of some sort – 39% of that 56 (excluding myself) are Democrats. So apparently this shouldn’t become a poltical divide issue.

  • Gary

    5. Proof of qualification before a certified weapons instructor; i.e., N.R.A. Instructor or Police range instructor must be supplied. Along with a copy of the instructor’s NRA/FBI firearms instructor’s certification. This is enough by any satndard. It may be denied still but no other reference should be asked for. The AG can call up the instructor and ask him personally if he needs to.

  • My2ndRight

    Read the last section. 11-47-11 and 11-47-18 are permit holders and are therefor exempt.

    § 11-47-60 Possession of firearms on
    school grounds. –
    (a) No person shall have in his or her possession any firearm or other weapons
    on school grounds.

    (2) For the purposes of this section, “school grounds” means
    the property of a public or private elementary or secondary school or in those
    portions of any building, stadium, or other structure on school grounds which
    were, at the time of the violation, being used for an activity sponsored by or
    through a school in this state or while riding school provided transportation.

    (3) Every person violating the provisions of this section
    shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one year
    nor more than five (5) years, or shall be fined not less than five hundred
    dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).

    (4) Any juvenile adjudicated delinquent pursuant to this
    statute shall, in addition to whatever other penalties are imposed by the
    family court, lose his or her license to operate a motor vehicle for up to six
    (6) months. If the juvenile has not yet obtained the necessary age to obtain a
    license, the court may impose as part of its sentence a delay in his or her
    right to obtain the license when eligible to do so, for a period of up to six
    (6) months.

    (b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any
    person who shall be exempt pursuant to the provisions of §§ 11-47-9,
    11-47-11, and 11-47-18 or to the following activities when the activities are
    officially recognized and sanctioned by the educational institution:

  • Sig Owner

    I’m a registered gun owner in the state of RI, I can have as many hand guns as I can afford to purchase. When it comes to obtaining a CCW in this state (after the Newtown tragedy) you’d better know someone with ties to a politician!! An NRA instructor certified in this state told me to obtain as many out of state permits that I could prior to even thinking about applying for a resident permit. I obtained Utah, New Hampshire and Maine Non Resident permits with no problems, when I recontacted the NRA instructor he told me to also get Florida before I try for RI. (Keep getting the run around) With all the pending legislation in the state house I fear that this state is on the verge of becoming a may issue or non issue state before long. An acquaintance who’s a long time member of an established gun club was recently able to obtain a carry permit because he is a friend of the AG. He told me if I really want a permit I should start hanging around his club!

    Just food for thought on how the system works in this little state. The second amendment doesn’t pertain to all law abiding citizens.

  • Dave D

    I was finally phoned to get fingerprinted. Meet with LOCAL LEO, quick chat and told he would run my prints and as long they came back clean I was all set. I currently hold a permit for Arizona and also hold DOD clearance. So now everyday I check my mail box like a little kid waiting for his decoder ring to come. I would highly recommend obtaining and out of state permit. I found Arizona to be the one with less hoops.

  • mark

    Hi im looking for a reson to carrie I need to send a letter anyone know the best resons