I do not have a restraining order against the abuser and s/he has not been convicted of a crime. Can s/he have a gun?
Even if the abuser has not been convicted or a crime and doesn’t have a restraining order issued against him/her, s/he cannot have or buy a gun for the following other reasons according to Rhode Island state law:
- is a fugitive from justice;1
- is under guardianship, treatment, or confinement due to being mentally incompetent;
- has been adjudicated, is under treatment, or is under confinement as a drug addict;2 or
- is in the U.S. illegally (an “alien”).3
If any of these apply to your situation, please talk to an advocate in your area about how this law is being enforced. If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Planning page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. See our RI Advocates and Shelters page to find a local domestic violence organization near you.
For additional information on gun laws in Rhode Island, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 RI Gen. Laws § 11-47-5(a)
2 RI Gen. Laws § 11-47-6
3 RI Gen. Laws § 11-47-7(a)
I've read through all of this information, and I am still confused. What can I do?
Trying to understand both federal and state laws can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.
- You can also contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111, ext. 2.
- You can write to our Email Hotline.
- You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area. See our RI Advocates and Shelters page for referrals.