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Pistol and Revolver Permits

RIGL §11-47-18 empowers the Attorney General to issue a license or permit to state residents 21 years of age or older to carry a pistol or revolver, whether concealed or not, upon a proper showing of need. In assessing the need of an applicant to carry a pistol or revolver, the Office also considers the issuance of a restricted permit for specified purposes.

As of December 31, 2012 there were 3,403 active pistol permits in Rhode Island issued by the Office of Attorney General.

During calendar year 2012, a total of 721 pistol and revolver permit applications were processed of which 275 were new applications and 446 were renewals. Seventy five percent of new applications were approved and ninety-eight percent of renewal applications were approved.

When a citizen wishes to purchase a firearm in the State of Rhode Island, they must first fill out an application and submit it to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), or a firearms dealer. That application is then submitted to the federal National Instant Check Systems (NICS), maintained by the FBI, to determine if there is any disqualifying information that would prohibit an individual from purchasing a firearm. As part of this background check, the FBI may contact BCI to request a local record check for disqualifying information.

Under the state’s firearms act, BCI collects the total number of applications received, as well as the number of applications determined to be approved or prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Last year, 17,525 legal gun purchases were made, while 137 were rejected.

Pistol Permit Forms