Legal Information: Rhode Island

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
November 30, 2023

I have a restraining order against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun?

Under Rhode Island state law, as part of a final restraining order (after notice to the defendant and a hearing), the judge can order that the abuser hand over any firearms in his/her possession to the authorities and forbid him/her from buying or possessing firearms. One exception to this, however, is if the abuser is a law officer, active member of the military, or in any other position where s/he is required by law or departmental policy to carry departmental firearms while on duty. For these defendants, they can have a firearm only during the course of their employment but at all other times, it must be stored at the place of employment.1

In addition, Rhode Island’s gun laws make it illegal for anyone to possess or buy a firearm if there is a final domestic violence restraining order issued against him/her from either family court or district court.2

Lastly, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if you have a restraining order against him/her that meets certain requirements even if the judge does not specifically include on the order that s/he cannot have a gun. Go to the Federal Gun Laws page to get more information.

1 RI Gen. Laws §§ 8-8.1-3(a),(k); 15-15-3(a),(f)
2 RI Gen. Laws § 11-47-5(b)

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