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Legal Information: Rhode Island

State Gun Laws

Laws current as of July 19, 2024

What is the penalty for violating state and federal firearm laws?

In Rhode Island, the penalty for possessing a gun if any of the following circumstances apply can be incarceration for 2 to 10 years:

  • has  been convicted of a “crime of violence” in Rhode Island or elsewhere;
  • is in “community confinement” or otherwise subject to electronic surveillance or monitoring devices as a condition of parole; or
  • is a fugitive from justice.1

If you have a restraining order against the abuser and s/he fails to surrender his/her firearm after being ordered to do so by the judge, s/he can be found in contempt.  The penalty for contempt, which is a misdemeanor crime, can be a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 1 year, or both.2

In addition, anyone who owns, has or buys a gun in violation of the federal firearm laws (which prohibit gun possession by someone who is the respondent on a restraining order or who was convicted of a felony or domestic violence misdemeanor) can be punished by a fine, jail time for up to 10 years, or both.3  Go to Federal Gun Laws for more information.

1 RI Gen Laws § 11-47-5(a),(c),(d)
2 RI Gen Laws §§ 15-15-3(h)(1),(i)(1); 8-8.1-3(g),(j)
3 See 18 USC § 924(a)(2)