Rhode Island’s Gun Regulations

Many people across the US enjoy recreational activities involving guns, such as hunting or target practice. Many Americans are also interested in keeping a gun in their home for the purposes of self defense. There are many things a responsible gun owner should know, such as proper use of their gun, safety precautions and any legal regulations of firearms that their state may have. To help people learn this important information, this article will describe gun regulations in the state of Rhode Island.

Who can purchase a gun?

In the interest of protecting its citizens, the government of Rhode Island does not allow certain people who may be dangerous or difficult to keep track of to purchase any kind of firearm. In this state, people who have been legally declared mentally incompetent due to a mental or emotional disorder are not allowed to own firearms. Similarly, people who have been legally determined to be drug addicts or alcoholics, or anyone currently in treatment for one of these problems, is prohibited from buying a gun. People with a prior conviction of a violent crime, fugitives from justice and illegal immigrants are also legally banned from buying or using firearms.

People under the age of eighteen can only purchase guns with the consent of a parent or legal guardian, and can only use their guns while under close supervision. You must be 21 or older to purchase a handgun, regardless of parental consent.

For people qualified to purchase firearms, there is a seven day waiting period.

How can I use my gun?

In Rhode Island, you must apply for a permit from the government before you can go hunting. Some animals, such as deer, can only be hunted in certain seasons. People who are barred from owning guns for the reasons listed above are also barred from obtaining hunting licenses.

People living in this state have a legal right to protect themselves against attackers or trespassers on their property. In the event of a burglary, this state does not have a “duty to retreat” law. This means that if someone invades your property, and you have reason to believe that you are in immediate danger of bodily harm, you can use whatever force is necessary to protect yourself. This includes the use of firearms in self-defense.

How should I store my gun?

In this state, gun owners are legally required to keep guns stored safely away from children, defined as anyone under 16. If a child obtains a gun and injures their self or another person, the owner of that gun is legally responsible.

For more information about gun regulation, contact Rhode Island weapons crimes attorney James Powderly.

The Limits Of Guns For Self Defense

When thinking about self defense, many people turn to guns as their best option. This seems only natural. Guns are one of the deadliest weapons that a person can carry. Unfortunately, in real self-defense situations, guns have some serious limitations, both because of the nature of criminal attacks and also because there are major legal limits on how a gun can be used. If you rely solely on guns and gun training for self-defense, you could easily wind up getting shot with your own weapon or in jail on murder charges for using your gun in an illegal way despite the fact that you were the one who was attacked.

Consider a situation where you are attacked with little or no warning. Imagine that someone starts running toward you from 21 feet away with no warning beforehand that an attack was going to happen. At 21 feet, you might manage to draw your weapon in time to defend yourself. Or you might not. At 12 feet away, an attacker will almost certainly get to you before you are able to draw your gun and aim it. If an attacker gets to you before you draw, you have a choice between using your arms to defend yourself or trying to get out your gun. At this point, even if you manage to draw, your attacker might knock the gun away from you or, worse yet, actually wrest control of the gun from you and use your own gun to shoot you. The same thing goes for a gun attack. If someone has a gun out and pointed at you at 25 feet away, will you have time to draw your weapon and shoot? The answer is probably not.

I am not a lawyer and this article does not attempt give legal advice. However, when it comes to self defense, it is important to also mention that there are also some serious legal limitations on when a gun can be used. Say someone physically attacks you and hits you and you manage to disengage from them. You would think that in this kind of situation you would be able to draw a gun in order to make sure that you wouldn’t be attacked again. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many states have laws on the books regarding a duty to retreat. Basically, if it is possible for you to disengage or run away, then it is your duty to do so. Drawing a weapon when you could get away is not what the law requires you to do.

Take another scenario. Say someone is calling you every nasty name they can think of and threatening to beat you to a pulp. Again, in this situation, things look pretty dangerous and you would think you would be able to draw a weapon in case the person chose to act on what they were saying. However, this is not the case. In reality, if you did draw your weapon, many jurisdictions would say that you are changing a domestic dispute situation into a lethal force situation. In this case you would be liable and you could wind up in jail.

So the problem comes that in order to legally draw your weapon, you must have an attacker who has lethal force and is demonstrating the intent to use it. However, most real world criminals will not give you any warning that they have a weapon or that they intend to attack.

When it comes to self defense there are thousands of possible scenarios. However, many people overestimate the power that guns have in these self defense situations. Because of the time it takes to draw a gun and the legal restrictions on when a gun can be drawn the number of scenarios where guns might be useful is much smaller than many people believe.

Stun Guns and Tasers – Are They Legal in All Fifty States?

Many people wonder, “are stun guns and Taser devices legal in all 50 states?” There are a small number of states that ban the ownership or use of them. These states are: Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.

Cities or counties that currently ban the use of stun devices are: Chicago, (Illinois), Annapolis (Maryland), Baltimore city and county (Maryland), Dension/Crawford County (Iowa) – – (*According to Sheriff Tom Hogan*), and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania). Therefore, the question of; “are stun guns legal in all states” is not a complete question. Rather one should ask; “are they legal in all cities or counties?”

There may be other jurisdictions that ban stun gun ownership and use, or place strict requirements on them, such as attending mandatory weapons training or perhaps completing a background check. If you are interested in purchasing one, check the laws of your individual state and county to ensure you are in compliance with those laws. Ask the question; “are stun devices legal” in your local jurisdiction.

I recommend you do your own legal definitions search online for your city rather than rely solely on police to answer that question for you. Police officers chase bad guys, they are not lawyers and do not always have a complete knowledge of the laws they enforce. Police officers have been known to give out incorrect information concerning local laws. For instance a police officer in Pittsburgh PA, when asked on the subject of stun guns, informed a woman that it was illegal to own a stun gun in that city, when in fact that is not the case. It is currently legal to possess a stun gun in Pittsburgh, PA.

Certain individuals are prohibited from owning a Taser or stun device.

Anyone under the age of 18 may not purchase, own or carry a stun device. In addition, the following individuals are prohibited from stun gun ownership: anyone who has been convicted of a crime and has been imprisoned for such, any fugitive from justice, drug addicts or users, mentally ill persons, illegal immigrants, those arrested for domestic disputes or under TRO due to a domestic dispute, or anyone dishonorably discharged from any branch of the military.

Other Regulations:

There are various laws that govern the use of stun devices, although each jurisdiction presides over its’own local regulations.

Though laws regarding the ownership and use of these self defense weapons very in different jurisdictions, the following rules appear frequently across many areas:

Stun Guns:

– may not be carried into public buildings

– are never permitted past the security check points of an airport

– may not be used in the commission of a crime

– cannot be carried on school grounds, though some states allow with a permit

– may not be concealed in a vehicle In some areas of the country

A small number of states prohibit stun devices from being concealed while being carried, and some states only allow a stun gun to be concealed inside the home or inside of a business.

A stun device cannot be used against any law enforcement person without incurring serious penalties, and a few states require a firearms permit in order to possess a stun gun or a Taser.

Carrying a stun gun is an excellent way to provide protection for yourself and your family, but it also comes with a certain amount of responsibility. Use it only in a manner consistent with the law, and take care to safeguard your stun gun so it does not become lost or stolen. Many times, a stolen stun gun becomes a weapon used in the commission of other crimes such as muggings and robberies. If you have a stun gun registered to you, take care to keep it out of the hands of criminals. If it should get lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to your local law enforcement authorities.