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
The state requires a Rhode Island Application to Purchase form at the time of purchase.
While the application is not a bill of sale, the application contains information about the purchaser and the firearm. It is similar in intent to a bill of sale.
Additionally, 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))
How to Sell a Firearm Privately
Private individuals are not restricted from selling firearms.
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.
Rhode Island’s restrictions on firearms possession generally mirror federal restrictions and include the following in accordance with RI Gen L § 11-47-5(a):
- Those convicted of a felony or crime of violence per § 12-29-5
- 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
- Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor under § 12-29-5:
Rhode Island prohibits the sale or transfer of firearms to anyone under age 21 except for police, state marshals, and active-duty military.
Firearm Inheritance Laws
Rhode Island has no specific firearm inheritance laws. Transfer of firearms by gift or bequest is the same as transfer by sale.
Rhode Island licenses all firearm owners and keeps records of licenses issued (R.I. Gen. Laws §11-47-35 and RI Gen L § 11-47-40(a).).
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).
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 Permit
Rhode Island does not allow open or concealed carry of handguns without a permit per RI Gen L § 11-47-8(a).
Using long guns (rifles and shotguns) is generally not permitted in public.
How To Apply
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.
Step 1 – Complete Application
Step 2 – Attach Documentation
Submit the following with your application:
- Evidence of competence with a firearm per RI Gen L § 11-47-15 and § 11-47-16
- FBI Fingerprint Applicant Card
- Original letter written and signed, stating the specific reason you need a permit
- Notarized photocopies of two forms of photo identification
- Three personal reference letters
- Two clear, color passport-type photos of your head and face
- A copy of your home state permit (for non-resident applicants)
Step 3 – Have Application Notarized
Get your application notarized.
Step 4 – Get Application Stamped
Have your application stamped or signed by your local Police Chief or a city hall official where you reside.
Step 5 – Submit Application
Deliver your application to the Attorney General’s office.
Step 6 – Pay Fee
You must pay the $40 processing fee (current as of June 2023)
Step 7 – Wait for Approval or Denial
The Attorney General’s office approves and denies applications within 90 days of receiving them.
You must obtain a permit to open carry in Rhode Island. Follow the same application steps as you would to conceal carry in the state.
Rhode Island does not honor the permits of any other state.
Currently, 29 states honor Rhode Island concealed-carry permits.
Rhode Island Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of a Rhode Island firearm bill of sale.