Selected State Statutes: Rhode Island

Statutes: Rhode Island

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11-47-5.3. Surrender of firearms by persons convicted of domestic violence offenses

(a) Pleading nolo contendere to or conviction of an offense under § 12-29-2 which is punishable as a felony shall prohibit the defendant from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession or control any firearm. Upon such a plea or conviction, the court shall issue an order declaring that the defendant surrender all firearm(s) owned by the defendant, or in the defendant's possession, care, custody, or control as described in this section.

(1) Surrender shall be made within twenty-four (24) hours of prohibition to a law-enforcement agency or to a federally licensed firearms dealer. The arresting law-enforcement agency shall be immediately notified of the order to surrender firearm(s). A law-enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer taking possession of a firearm(s) shall issue proof of surrender to the person surrendering the firearm(s). The proof of surrender shall include the name of the person; the name of the law-enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer; the date of surrender; the serial number; the manufacturer; and model of all surrendered firearm(s).

(2) The defendant may transport their firearm(s) during the twenty-four hour (24) surrender period directly to the law-enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer, provided that the firearm(s) is broken down, unloaded, and carried as openly as circumstances will permit, or provided that the pistols or revolvers are unloaded and secured in a separate container suitable for the purpose.

(3) The defendant shall, within forty-eight (48) hours after being served with the order, either:

(i) File a copy of proof of surrender with the court and attest that all firearm(s) owned by the defendant, or in the defendant's possession, care, custody, or control at the time of the plea or conviction, have been surrendered in accordance with this section and that the defendant currently owns no firearm(s) or has any firearm(s) in their care, custody, or control; or

(ii) Attest that, at the time of the plea or conviction, the defendant owned no firearm(s) and had no firearm(s) in their care, custody, or control, and that the defendant currently owns no firearm(s) and has no firearm(s) in their possession, care, custody, or control.

(4) The list of firearm(s) surrendered shall be kept under seal and shall not be part of the public record.

(5)(i) If the defendant chooses to surrender a firearm(s) to a law-enforcement agency, the law-enforcement agency shall follow the policies established by the police officer's commission on standards and training for the return or disposal of the firearm(s).

(ii) The police officer's commission on standards and training shall establish policies for the return or disposal of firearms that are surrendered pursuant to any court order, provided that such policies require that the defendant be notified of the return or disposal, and that the owner receive any financial value received from the disposal, less the cost associated with taking possession of, storing, and disposing of the firearm(s) and provided that no disposal shall occur while any appeal of the conviction is pending.

(6) If the defendant, or their designee, transfers a firearm(s) to a federally licensed firearms dealer pursuant to this section, the defendant may instruct the federally licensed firearms dealer to sell the firearm(s) or to transfer ownership pursuant to state and federal law to a qualified named individual who is not a member of the defendant's dwelling house. The owner of any firearm(s) sold shall receive any financial value received from their sale, less the cost associated with taking possession of, storing, and transferring of the firearm(s).

(7) Every individual, to whom ownership of a firearm(s) is transferred pursuant to this section, shall be prohibited from transferring or returning any firearm(s) to the defendant and shall be informed of this prohibition.

(i) Any knowing violation of subsection (a)(7) of this section is a felony which shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than five (5) years, or both.