Concealed Carry State Laws In Rhode Island
Concealed carry laws, or CCW’s, in Rhode Island refers to the legally issued permit which allows for the carrying of a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner within any place open to the general public.
Not all weapons that fall under concealed carry state laws in Rhode Island are lethal, there are some states that regulate non-lethal items such a pepper spray that are carried over a set volume requiring the obtaining of a CCW permit. (In some states non-lethal items require a separate permit)
Every State's Concealed Carry Laws Are Unique In Rhode Island
While in Rhode Island there is no current federal law that specifically address the issuance of concealed carry permits for private citizens as each state is responsible for the control of concealed carry permits within its sovereign borders. All 50 states have passed laws allowing their respective residents to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from their local Sheriff’s office or Chief of police.
In all states and in Rhode Island the only federal law concerning CCW’s is the Peace Officer Safety Act of 2004, (H.R. 218) to lean about this and all other states Concealed Carry Laws see our database on our website US Precision Defense where we maintain a comprehensive listing of every States weapons laws.
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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.