Concealed Carry Permits In Rhode Island Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are just a few states – like Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska – which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in Rhode Island.
Do you know the laws where you live in Rhode Island, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in Rhode Island you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm. Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are three types of Concealed Carry in States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in Rhode Island may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
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Article 1, Section 22 of the Rhode Island State Constitutional Provision states: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Under Rhode Island law, either local authorities or the attorney general’s office may issue four-year permits to carry a concealed weapon, This also allows an individual to carry a handgun not only in Rhode Island and in other states that have reciprocity agreements. Many police chiefs in the state say they don’t want the responsibility of issuing CCW permits, especially because the law doesn’t allow them much discretion. The law states that local authorities “shall issue” the permits to those qualified, while the attorney general’s office “may issue.” This makes it easier to get permits from local authorities than from the attorney general’s office, and there’s no consistent process from one municipality to the next.
Rhode Island is the only state that has the conflicting “shall issue” vs “May Issue” statues.
The is currently as of June 2013 HB 6160 up for a vote in the Rhode Island legislature that would remove the town clerk and sergeant from the list of licensing officers for concealed carry permits, effectively changing the concealed carry laws in the state from a “Shall Issue” to a “May Issue” state as all CCW permits would then only be issued by the state attorney general’s office. Luckily for gun owners the matter has been put off for “further” study.
Several police chiefs in the state have said they would rather have the determination of whether to issue a CCW permit made through one central agency, such as the state Attorney General’s Office, instead of on a town-by-town basis where one police chief might make a different call than another chief under the same circumstances.
Contradiction in the Rhode Island state “Open Carry” laws: Rhode Island is not a traditional open carry state. Open carry is permitted to those with a carry permit issued from the Attorney Generals office. Yet as we underhand it you cannot open carry if your permit was issued by the local police chief?
2013; While the battle over gun control is never over, gun owners in the Ocean State should be pleased that their legislators did not follow the trail blazed by New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Colorado, all of which passed onerous gun control laws.
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Rhode Island is a hybrid "shall issue" and "may issue" state for both concealed and open carry. Licenses may be granted either by local authorities or by the state's attorney general's office. Licenses granted by local authorities are "shall issue" while those issued by the attorney general's officer are "may issue" under state law. However, most local authorities defer to the attorney general which effectively blocks most CCW issuances (unless one is a retired Law Enforcement Officer.)
So you can trust the state officials and not the local law enforcement? Open carry of handguns is permitted for only those with a carry permit issued by the attorney general. Open carry is not permitted for those who's handgun carry permits (CCW’s) were issued by local authorities. Long gun open carry is not prohibited by law.
Rhode Island protects the right to bear arms under Article 1, Section 22 of the state constitution, yet this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. You may carry a concealed weapon in your own house, property, or fixed place of business without a permit, but Rhode Island requires a safety certificate to openly carry a weapon anywhere else, and a concealed carry permit to carry a weapon concealed on (or near) your body or vehicle. You also have to have a permit issued from the Attorney General if you want to “open carry”, yes confusing we know!
The Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association has supported legislation that would require the attorney general to process all concealed carry applications. Currently, all state town clerks and or town sergeants, in compliance with the existing statute, are accepting and processing these CCW applications.
2013, 2nd Amendment Rights are currently under attack in the Rhode Island General Assembly. The citizens of the state need to contact their state legislators and get their voice herd, if you do not act you can and will lose your gun rights!
Rhode Island’s permits are honored by the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont.
US Precision Defense has a complete on-line store and reciprocity maps for the entire US, see more on our Home page.