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When is it illegal to possess a firearm in Rhode Island?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Owning and carrying a gun are huge responsibilities. Some people collect firearms, while some might use them for protection or hunting. Regardless, the law has provisions on who can or cannot carry guns in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island has no licensing qualifications for possessing firearms. However, the state law prohibits specific types of people from doing so legally. It is unlawful for the following to purchase, have, own and carry firearms:

  • Convicted individuals of violent crimes
  • Fugitives from justice
  • Unnaturalized foreigners
  • Individuals under guardianship
  • Any person deemed mentally incompetent
  • Individuals confined or under treatment for drug addiction
  • Minors

However, minors can possess a gun if they have a permit. They could only acquire it by finishing a firearm training course and submitting proof of completion with written consent from their parents.

Additionally, minors could face limitations regarding what types of firearms they could possess and whether they have a qualified adult supervising them. If authorities catch an unqualified person possessing a gun unlawfully, they could receive severe penalties, including hefty fines and jail time.

Exemptions for firearm possession restrictions

Most firearm restrictions might not apply to specific people who work in law enforcement, including sheriffs, investigators, members of the Army and graduates from the police training academy. It depends on whether they need firearms to perform their duties. These professionals also undergo training to operate and possess firearms safely and responsibly.

Unlawful firearm possession is a severe crime, making it crucial for both firearm buyers and sellers to review any legal restrictions before finalizing a purchase. The law also enforces guidelines for adults and minors who might want a gun.