Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Concealed Carry in Rhode Island.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 12 April
Concealed Weapons Permitting in Rhode Island
Rhode Island prohibits any person from carrying a handgun (concealed or visible) on or about the person without a license, except in his or her dwelling house or place of business or on land possessed by him or her. Also, carrying a handgun without a license is prima facie evidence of an intention to commit a crime of violence in a prosecution for a crime of violence.
Rhode Island is a "may issue" state, meaning that local licensing authorities of any city or town have discretion in determining whether or not to issue a concealed handgun license to an applicant. To apply for a license, an applicant must provide his or her fingerprints, photograph, name, address, signature, reason for desiring such a license, and:
- Be age 21 or older;
- Have a bona fide residence or place of business in the city or town in which he or she is applying, or a bona fide residence in another state and a license to carry a concealed weapon from that state;
- Have a good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property, or have any other proper reason for carrying a concealed handgun;
- Be a suitable person to be licensed; and
- Have a certification that he or she is qualified to use a handgun of a caliber equal or larger than the one he or she wants to carry.
The state attorney general also may issue a license to carry a handgun, "concealed or not," to a person age 21 or older who demonstrates a "proper showing of need" and has certification of his or her ability to use the handgun. The attorney general-issued license, unlike that issued by local authorities, can also be granted to undocumented persons.
Any handgun license can be revoked for "just cause" by the authority that granted the license.
Firearm Safety Training
Rhode Island requires all persons seeking concealed handgun license to certify that he or she is qualified to use a handgun of a caliber equal to or greater than the caliber of handgun he or she intends to carry. The applicant is required to obtain a score of 195 or better out of a possible score of 300, with 30 consecutive rounds at a distance of 25 yards on any army "L" target firing "slow" fire.
The range officers of the Rhode Island state police or any city or town police department maintaining a regular and continuing firearms training program, a pistol instructor certified by the National Rifle Association and/or the United States Revolver Association, or any other qualified persons that the attorney general may designate are authorized to certify the qualification.
Duration and Renewal
A handgun license in Rhode Island is valid for four years.
Disclosure or Use of Information
In Rhode Island, both the attorney general and local licensing authorities are prohibited from disclosing any information given by an applicant for a concealed handgun license, except as part of a prosecution for violation of the license requirement or in response to a subpoena in a civil or criminal action to which the person is a party. The license cannot, in any case, contain the serial number of any firearm. Moreover, no government authority in Rhode Island may keep a list or register of privately owned firearms or their owners, unless the firearm has been used in committing a crime of violence, or the individual has been convicted of a crime of violence.
No relevant statutes currently exist, indicating that Rhode Island likely does not recognize concealed weapons licenses issued in other states…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]