Can You Shoot on Your Property in Rhode Island?

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Rhode Island is not an open carry state. You will need a permit to carry your weapons unless you are on your land, in your home or at your place of business.

And because the state laws are restrictive to a certain extent, it is not easy to sale, own or use a firearm while in Rhode Island.

First things first though; Rhode Island is one of the safest places to live in. The state has recorded a significantly low number of property crimes, making life pretty pleasant here.

But even with the low crime rates in the state, residents still worry about their safety and the safety of their properties. So, where your safety is threatened, can you shoot your guns? Keep reading to find out.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in Rhode Island?

Yes, you can shoot on your property in Rhode Island as long as you are shooting for safety purposes and/or hunting purposes.

Man wearing a jacket standing on a grass field holding a rifle
  • For safety purposes – Living in Rhode Island is a pretty mellow experience. However, this does not mean that you will be safe from intruders and trespassers at all times. It is for this reason that the state allows its residents to use self-defense when their safety is compromised.

So, basically, as long as you obey the state laws, you can use a firearm to defend yourself, defend those around you and defend your property.

  • For hunting purposes – Hunting fish, pursuing wild animals and wild birds is a culture on its own in the scenic state of Rhode Island. The law permits its residents to engage in some hunting activities though permits are a must have beforehand.

What’s more, it is illegal for anyone to hunt within 500 feet of any building that is permanently occupied or any other building that is often used as a dwelling place.

Is a Permit Required When Purchasing a Firearm in Rhode Island?

Yes, the gun laws at the state are quite restrictive, remember? You will need a RI permit before you can purchase any weapons.

However, getting the permit is not a walk in the park like most of you would imagine. You will have to pass a gun safety course that is conducted by the Rhode Island department of environmental management.

A background check will also be conducted to confirm if you have any criminal records that disqualify you from gun ownership as per the state laws.

What Can Stop You From Getting a Permit to Purchase a Firearm in RI?

Not everyone qualifies to have a permit to purchase a firearm. The state has some restrictions put in place and here is what can stop you from getting that permit;

  • Criminal record – The state does not allow convicted felons to own and use firearms. With that in mind, it is quite obvious that there will be no permits to purchase a firearm that will be issued to criminals and law breakers.
  • Age – You must be 18 years or older to purchase a rifle or shotgun in Rhode Island. For handguns, the purchaser of the weapon should be at least 21 years of age. As a firearm dealer, you will be caught on the wrong side of the law for selling a firearm to a minor.
  • Drug abuse – Drug and substance abuse is a serious offence in Rhode Island and so is purchase, use and ownership of firearms when intoxicated. The law prohibits any persons with a drug addiction problem from buying any weapons.
  • Non-citizenship – The law prohibits any person who is not a citizen of the United States from possessing a firearm. That said, there will be no need to seek a permit to purchase.
  • Mental health issues – The law prohibits anyone who is deemed mentally incompetent or psychologically unstable from purchase and possession of firearms.


As residents of the good state of Rhode Island, you have the right to keep and bear arms as per the law. This, however, should not be a reason for you to carelessly discharge your weapons.

Carelessness and ignorance when handling such weapons can lead to serious harm and even loss of lives.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.