Legislation Alert


National Rifle Association- Institute For Legislative Action

National Rifle Association Hails Historic Victory on the Second Amendment Freedom in McDonald v. City of Chicago-click here

President is likely to discuss gun control soon, advisers say-click here

Doctor’s office not the place for anti-gun politics-click here


U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance-The Situation Room

Bullseye Blog-click here



Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts


click here… to bring you to the Local bills State and Senate


With this Year being an Election year your help is needed. Please consider making a donation to the FRISC P.A.C. The P.A.C. funds are used to support our elected officals that work with us on matters of consern and to better the outdoor life style that we all enjoy. If you would like to donate to the FRISC P.A.C. please mail the following info to the below address:

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P.O. Box 9595, Warwick, Rhode Island 02889

Concealed Pistol or Revolver Carry Permit

As you well know, RI firearms regulations fall under Title 11 Criminal Offenses, Chapter 47 Weapons. There are generally 2 section referring to the issuance of license to carry pistols, § 11-47-11  License or permit to carry concealed pistol or revolver (commonly referred to as “town issued”) and § 11-47-18  License or permit issued by attorney general on showing of need (commonly referred to as “AG issued”). These are 2 distinct and different paths to obtaining a carry permit in RI. I will limit the discussion to resident permits only, simply for the sake of importance to those of us who are residents and all bold ephasis is added by me. I will provide links for your reference at the end of the letter.

§ 11-47-11  States: The licensing authorities of any city or town shall, ……issue a license or permit to the person to carry concealed upon his or her person a pistol or revolver everywhere within this state for four (4) years from date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear an injury to his or her person or property or has any other proper reason for carrying a pistol or revolver, and that he or she is a suitable person to be so licensed.
I have edited the above statute for brevity. “Licensing authorities” means the board of police commissioners of a city or town where the board has been instituted, the chief of police or superintendent of police of other cities and towns having a regular organized police force, and, in towns where there is no chief of police or superintendent of police, it means the town clerk who may issue licenses upon the recommendation of the town sergeant, and it also means any other person or body duly authorized by the city or town charter or by state law. So in the absence of another board (Warwick Public Safety Board, etc), the Chief of Police is the licensing authority as confirmed in the Archer v MacGarry case (pg. 2-3). Judge Fortunato stated the Chiefs discretion is in regard to wether a person is suitable and meets any other criteria that are set forward in the legistlation for the issuance of a permit (pg 3 line 11-21). The Judge further states there is some discrection vested in the licensing authority, and they must consider upon receipt of an application what the legistlature says they must consider, which the judge then quoted from the above statute ending his quote with the statement “then the license shall issue” (pg.16-17 line 18-25 & 1-3). The Judge goes on to say “If the person is a suitable person and meet the other criteria I just quoted from the statute, at that point there is no discrection on the part of the licensing authority. According to the legistlature at that point the permit shall issue. Not may, but shall (pg 17 line 6-8).  In closing, the Judge stated “the Police Chief has no discrection to decline an application or decline to consider the application once it has been filed with him. Nor does he have any discretion to act in anything but a reasonable and fair way regarding the application once it is on his desk.”
All of the page/line references are to the Archer v MacGarry case.
This ruling makes it pretty clear the statute is upheld as shall issue and the discretion is limited in nature.
The Mosby case also underscored the shall issue nature of 11-47-11:
“§ 11-47-11 is mandatory – an applicant who meets the criteria set forth in § 11-47-11 is entitled to a gun permit. … Although we are mindful that the “suitable person” provision in § 11-47-11 vests the local licensing authority with discretion to reject an application filed by an unsuitable person, this leeway does not affect the requirement that the licensing authority shall issue a permit to a suitable person who meets the requirements set forth in the statute. The finding that an applicant is a suitable person involves an exercise of discretion, but certain individuals are unsuitable as a matter of law, including convicted felons, habitual drunkards, mental incompetents, illegal aliens, and anyone who has failed to meet the minimum firing qualification score. ” ( I believe page 22-23)
§ 11-47-18  States: The attorney general may issue a license…..
So we have the differences spelled out in statute and case law defining the shall issue nature of town issued permits. The problem arises when Chiefs refuse to hand out applications, refuse to accept applications, or apply mandates to determine suitability which are outside the statutes (psych exam, etc). Issues with towns requiring more than the $40 permit fee are also problems.
There are some differences in what the permits allow, but since your newsletter focused on may/shall issue, I stuck with that topic only. If more questions arise from this or you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If anyone wants to contact me directly to discuss this topic, please pass my name/email to them, or have them contact me at RIHunts or CRAL.
I am planning to attend your next meeting and hope to meet you.

11-47-11 statute:  http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE11/11-47/11-47-11.HTM
11-47-18 statute: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE11/11-47/11-47-18.HTM Archer v MacGarry : http://www.cralri.com/superior-court-decision.pdf
Mosby v. Devine:  http://www.courts.ri.gov/supreme/pdf-files/01-161.pdf