Rhode Island requires a Rhode Island Application to Purchase form at the time of purchase.
While the application is not a Rhode Island firearm bill of sale, the application contains information about the purchaser and the firearm. It is similar in intent to a bill of sale.
- What is a Rhode Island Firearm Bill of Sale?
- What Are the Requirements for Selling a Firearm in Rhode Island?
- Documents Needed To Complete a Firearm Bill of Sale in Rhode Island
- Additional Rhode Island Firearm Laws
- Concealed and Open Carry Laws in Rhode Island
- Rhode Island Firearm Reciprocity
- How To Write a Firearm Bill of Sale in Rhode Island
- Rhode Island Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
What is a Rhode Island Firearm Bill of Sale?
A Rhode Island Firearm Bill of Sale documents details about the seller and buyer in a firearm ownership transfer. It provides proof of sale and transfer and contains both parties’ signatures.
Use the bill of sale form to document your transfer and assist you in filling out the Rhode Island Application to Purchase if you are a gun buyer.
This Rhode Island application form must be completed by the buyer, delivered to the seller, sent to the police department to conduct a background check, and to the state attorney general. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-35(a), 11-47-35.2
What Are the Requirements for Selling a Firearm in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island requires firearms dealers to obtain a state license (R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-38). Firearms dealers must also have a federal firearms license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
A firearms dealer must agree to the following:
- Conduct business only at the location designated on the license
- Display the license on the premises
- Require proof of ID before selling any firearm
- Provide a trigger lock or other safety device with each sale of a pistol (R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.3)
Private Parties Selling Firearms in Rhode Island
Private individuals are not explicitly restricted from selling firearms.
However, anyone selling a firearm in Rhode Island is required to follow all requirements for selling weapons to other individuals, including:
- A seven-day waiting period from noon of the day following the application to the delivery of the weapon
- Verification of passage of a firearms safety course
- Sending an application to purchase form to local law enforcement or state police
- Receipt of a background check
- Obeying all other requirements of firearms sales
- Confirming buyer has a Handgun Safety Certification (“Blue Card”) to purchase a handgun
Private individuals attempting to sell firearms in Rhode Island are encouraged to utilize a third party for their sale transactions.
Does the Law in Rhode Island Require a Firearm Bill of Sale?
Rhode Island does not specifically require a bill of sale for private firearms transactions.
Firearm Inheritance Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island has no specific firearm inheritance laws. Transfer of firearms by gift or bequest is the same as transfer by sale.
Documents Needed To Complete a Firearm Bill of Sale in Rhode Island
To purchase firearms or ammunition, whether privately or in a gun shop, purchasers must obtain a Handgun Safety Certification, or “Blue Card.”
Applicants register to take the in-person exam for the Blue Card, which the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management administers.
Once approved, the Blue Card certifies the applicant has passed the state’s required safety exam.
Additional Rhode Island Firearm Laws
Rhode Island has an extensive and very restrictive set of firearms regulations (R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47 et seq.)
Anyone wishing to own, buy, or sell firearms in Rhode Island should review these laws carefully before attempting any transactions.
Who Cannot Purchase a Firearm in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island’s restrictions on firearms possession generally mirror federal restrictions and include the following:
- Those convicted of a felony or crime of violence
- Those convicted of a domestic violence crime
- Those subject to domestic violence or “extreme risk” restraining order
- Those adjudicated mentally incompetent
- Those not legally in the United States
Rhode Island prohibits the sale or transfer of firearms to anyone under age 21 except for police, state marshals, and active-duty military.
Does Rhode Island Have a Waiting Period for Firearm Sales?
Rhode Island has a seven-day waiting period, beginning “at noon of the day following the day of application for the purchase.” (R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-35(a)(1))
Can You Buy a Firearm in Rhode Island Without Registering It?
Rhode Island licenses all firearm owners and keeps records of licenses issued (R.I. Gen. Laws §11-47-35).
However, Rhode Island prohibits any government agency from keeping a registry of privately owned firearms or their owners but does allow a registry of firearms used in a violent crime and any person convicted of a violent crime (R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-41).
Does a Firearm Bill of Sale Have To Be Notarized in Rhode Island?
No specific requirement for notarizing a Rhode Island firearm bill of sale exists.
Is a Record of Firearms Sent to Police in Rhode Island?
Applications to purchase firearms are sent to the local police and attorney general’s office for background checks.
The firearm dealer must keep a copy.
Concealed and Open Carry Laws in Rhode Island
Rhode Island does not allow open or concealed carry of handguns without a permit.
Using long guns (rifles and shotguns) is generally not permitted in public.
How To Apply To Carry a Firearm in Rhode Island
Rhode Island is a “shall-issue” state.
This means that the state will issue a permit to anyone who is otherwise qualified and who “appears to be a suitable person to be licensed” (R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-11(a).).
This language survived the challenge in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111, 2123 n.1 (2022) because Rhode Island’s law gives sufficient guidance as to what a “suitable person” should be.
An individual may apply for a concealed carry permit if they are over 21, have a bona fide residence or place of business where they are applying, and have a certification that they are qualified in the type of handgun they are applying to carry.
Exemptions are available for law enforcement and those with concealed-carry permits in other states.
Handgun permits are processed through the Rhode Island State Attorney General’s office.
Rhode Island Firearm Reciprocity
Rhode Island does not honor the permits of any other state.
Currently, 29 states honor Rhode Island concealed-carry permits.
How To Write a Firearm Bill of Sale in Rhode Island
Private sales in Rhode Island must conform to the same requirements as all other firearms transactions.
That includes using the same applications and permits licensed firearms dealers must use. Private buyers and sellers should use a firearms bill of sale to document all sale details for their records.
Step 1 – Fill in All Parties to the Sale
The bill of sale should include the identities of the buyer and seller:
- Contact information (phone number and email)
Step 2 – Describe the Firearm(s) Being Sold
Include the details of the firearm being transferred. The description should include the following:
- Serial number
- Make and model
- Accessories and customizations
- Present condition
Private sales are usually considered “as-is” unless specifically stated otherwise.
If the sale is for a new item, or repairs or modifications are included, your document should state that.
Step 4 – Details of the Sale
Include all pertinent information, including:
- Date of purchase
- Sale price
- Payment agreement (paid in full, down payment, installment payments)
- Date of transfer. Remember that in Rhode Island, this must be not less than seven days afternoon on the day after the date on the application
Step 5 – Signatures and Notarization
Both parties should sign the bill of sale and consider notarization to add a layer of authenticity to the signatures.
You can create your bill of sale or use our online template to create a Rhode Island firearm bill of sale.
Rhode Island Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of a Rhode Island firearm bill of sale.