State Law Background
Among other things, Rhode Island:
- Requires a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between individuals not licensed as firearms dealers;
- Requires firearms dealers to obtain a license, and handgun purchasers to first obtain a safety certificate;
- Requires a seven-day waiting period on all firearm purchases;
- Requires firearm owners to report the loss or theft of their firearms; and
- Provides the local licensing authority with discretion to deny a concealed handgun license.
Rhode Island does not, however:
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Require firearm owners to register their firearms;
- Regulate unsafe handguns; or
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms.
In 2016, Rhode Island had the second lowest rate of gun deaths per capita among the states. In addition, in 2016, Rhode Island supplied the seventh lowest number of crime guns to other states per capita. Rhode Island exports crime guns at nearly one third the rate of the nation.
Rhode Island Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Rhode Island, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.