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Legal Information: Rhode Island

Restraining Orders

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Updated: 
November 19, 2019

What is an extreme risk protection order?

An extreme risk protection order is a civil court order that keeps an individual (known as the respondent) from:

  • having a gun in his/her possession, custody, or control;
  • purchasing or receiving a gun; or
  • attempting to purchase or receive a gun.1

1 8 R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-8.3-3(b)

Who can file for an extreme risk protection order?

A law enforcement agency can file for an extreme risk protection order if the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or another person by having a firearm in his/her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.1

If you are a person who is concerned about the safety of someone else but cannot file to have his/her firearms removed, you may be able to speak to a law enforcement officer or agency to let them know of your concern and ask that they file for an extreme risk protection order to have the firearms removed.

1 8 R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.3-3(c); 8-8.3-1

What types of orders are there? How long do they last?

There are two types of extreme risk protection orders: temporary ex parte extreme risk protection orders and one-year extreme risk protection orders.

Temporary ex parte extreme risk protection orders: The judge can issue a temporary ex parte extreme risk protection order without the respondent having notice of the hearing or being present for the hearing. This type of order remains in effect until the next hearing, which must be scheduled within 14 days.1

One-year extreme risk protection orders issued after a hearing: A one-year extreme risk protection order can be issued after the respondent receives notice and has the opportunity to be present for a hearing in court. At the hearing, the judge will decide if the respondent poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself/herself or others by having a firearm in his/her custody or control, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm. An extreme risk protection order issued after a hearing will last for a period of one year.2

1 8 R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-8.3-4(e)(7), (f)
2 8 R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-8.3-5(a)

What protections can be granted in an extreme risk protection order?

In an extreme risk protective order, the judge can order that the respondent not get, attempt to get, buy, or attempt to buy any firearms. The order will also instruct the respondent to give up any firearms that s/he has in his/her custody, control, or possession.1

1 8 R.I. Gen. Laws § 8-8.3-5(a), (f)(6)