Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Rhode Island?

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It is quite clear that gun laws in a state or even the nation at large affect shooting sports to a large extent. This includes both hunting and shooting ranges. In some shooting ranges, you are not allowed to loan out your weapon to anyone including a family member at the range.

This makes it hard for minors accompanied by an adult to learn how to shoot since they cannot rent out a weapon. Making the laws friendlier will encourage more people to learn how to shoot.

Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Rhode Island?

No, you do not need a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Rhode Island because the laws are not extremely strict when it comes to gun control.

Rhode Island gun laws are quite conscious when it comes to protecting its citizens from gun violence with stipulations on who is allowed to carry a weapon and the designated areas where it is legal.

Gun and knife on a tree

Despite this, it is home to one of the largest Junior Rifle Programs in the nation. The club trains boys and girls in shooting sports while making sure to instill safety, continuous education and sportsmanship. This is according to an article by the NRA blog. When going to a shooting range, some laws may still apply.

The top three things to pay attention to are:

  • Licensing required
  • Firearms in vehicles
  • NFA ban

Licensing Required

Although you do not need a permit to access most shooting ranges in Rhode Island, you need one to access the RI shooting ranges. These are the ranges owned by the Rhode Island Department of Environment Management. These permits are issued by the range itself. They also issue hunting licenses.

In Rhode Island, you need a permit to buy and carry some firearms. For example, to purchase a handgun, you need to finish and pass a safety exam by the RI Department of Environment Management. You also need a permit for open carry and concealed carry weapons with a waiting period of 7 days.

In order for you to get the permit, you need to prove beyond reasonable doubt why you need it.

Firearms in Vehicles

According to Gun Laws by State, Rhode Island is not a reciprocal state. This means that it does not recognize any other state licenses to carry a concealed weapon in person or stored in a gun safe or a range bag in the vehicle. The only exception is if you are passing through the state without stopping anywhere.

Man not needing a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Rhode Island

If you are planning to move to this state, you must apply for a new permit before you can carry your weapon to the range legally. If you have a permit and you want to take the weapon to the range with you, you need to know that you are not obligated to inform an officer that you have the weapon in the car.

However, keep your permit with you so that if the officer wants to see it, you can easily access it.


According to Gun Policy, Rhode Island’s firearm laws are considered restrictive. This is because the state bans all NFA items. Some of these items include:

  • Machine guns
  • Other fully automatic weapons
  • Rifles and shotguns longer than 26 inches
  • Firearm sound suppressors (silencers)
  • Destructive devices such as explosives

Being found with these items can lead to you being arrested unless you are law enforcement officer or military personnel.


Rhode Island gun laws are not as strict as other states’ laws, but they are also not the friendliest. Since you do not need a permit to go to the shooting range, most Rhode Island ranges have their own rules. All you need to know are the general firearm safety and ammunition rules of the state to help you stay out of trouble.

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.