“In considering each individual application for pistol permit the Attorney General must determine whether or not the applicant has demonstrated a proper showing of need to carry a loaded firearm in public, and consider the individual’s demonstration of skill and responsibility to safely carry and use a firearm in compliance with all State, Federal and local laws. Because a loaded, concealed firearm in untrained hands presents a danger to the public and the applicant, the Attorney General must consider countervailing risks to the public while assessing need. While there cannot be any set formula or criteria to limit or restrict the Attorney General’s discretion to issue or deny a pistol permit, the Attorney General considers the following factors in assessing an applicant’s proper showing of need . . .

1. Has the applicant demonstrated a specific articulable risk to life, limb or property? If so, has the applicant demonstrated how a pistol permit will decrease the risk?

2. Can the applicant readily alter his or her conduct, or undertake reasonable measures other than carrying a loaded firearm, to decrease the danger to life, limb or property?

3. Are there means of protection available to the applicant other than the possession of a loaded firearm that will alleviate the risk to his or her person or property?

4. Has the applicant demonstrated the skill, training and ability to properly use a firearm in accordance with Rhode Island laws?

5. Has the applicant presented a plan to properly secure the firearm so that it does not fall into unauthorized hands?

6. How greatly will the possession of a loaded firearm by the applicant increase the risk of harm to the applicant or to the public?

7. Has the applicant demonstrated that he or she will not use the firearm for an unlawful or improper purpose, and the he or she has not used a firearm for an unlawful purpose in the past?

8. Does past unlawful, dangerous or violent conduct of the applicant justify denial at the Attorney General’s discretion even if it is not sufficient to disqualify the applicant as a matter of law from possessing a firearm?

9. Has the applicant been issued a protective order pursuant to chapter 15-5, chapter 15-15, or chapter 8-1.1 of the general laws?

10. Any and all other factors deemed lawful and appropriate by the Attorney General to demonstrate that the applicant is or is not a person suitable to possess a loaded firearm in public.”

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47 Responses to RI Pistol Permit: Proper Showing of Need

  1. Why does “good cause” to obtain a permit have to be construed as “the last possible alternative”?

  2. The whole idea of a “permit” to bear arms is an offense to a liberty loving American. The most compelling reason to carry a firearm is to protect yourself from the power hungry morons who wrote this law.

  3. Give me a break.

    “The right to keep and bear arms….”

    Unless the Nanny State of Rhode Island decides you don’t *really* need the right to keep and bear arms.

  4. So RF, do you care to share your answers to those questions?

    And how does the applicant “demonstrate… the he or she has not used a firearm for an unlawful purpose in the past?” Sign an affidavit?

  5. I’m glad you received your permit. I hope you are not at risk.

    My sheriff says that only complaints on file demonstrate the justified need for a carry permit. That explains a lot about crime in my disarmed county.

      • Rob, I bet your sheriff forgot to mention the unwritten rule about permits being issued to big campaign donors and other cronies regardless of what’s on file. That’s the way it works in my conservative Republican county anyway. Screw the little people, it’s the overlords who get the special treatment. As with Orwell’s Animal Farm, we are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others.

  6. I didn’t need a note from my mother to get a Florida permit, or PA. Delaware has expensive training requirements and expects you to ask 5 people in your voting district if it’s OK with them for you to carry. With the reciprocity granted by Gov. Minter 9 years ago I can carry with my Florida permit instead.

    But RI makes sure almost no one gets to carry. Does RI have reciprocity agreements in place?

      • Now that you have one from RI, get a license from a place like Utah, Florida, or Arizona that is accepted in a good many states.

      • The lack of RI reciprocity seems to be related to the politically correct requirements, not a training or background check issue.
        Delaware recognizes CCW permits that have training and observation requirements.

  7. Sounds a lot like the recently struck down MD statue requiring a “good and substantial” need for a permit.

  8. Regarding #4 on you list: This is an extremely interesting point for many reasons. If I were to connect it to a single word it would be liability, or the lack of it.
    First a little bit about myself. I am a retired armorer from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (yea I know CA) and have lived there for 57 years. Among my many duties was to qualify citizens for CCW’s ( yes they do exist in the state which is another story). on both written and the qualifications. Now for those of you who know about Ca. LIABILLITY is a BIG word. Because CCW permits are NOT issued by the state it falls upon the local police of sheriff. I have lost count of the number of people who come out to qualify and don’t know one end of the gun from the other. I have had people come out with a new gun take it out of the box and go how do I work it? You CAN’T teach them because them you take on the liability IF they screw up. I moved to Texas in 2007, and it seems TEXAS has never heard of liability. They have a 10 hour class session and then you shoot on the range. Once again they call no training and it is up to the individual to get them self trained.
    As I am retired I have worked many gun shops here in a armorer or rangermaster position. I had gotten a call from a range in Dallas. During and the tour the owner was proud to tell me how they take every person (new) to their range aside for 30 mins and give them the basics in handling (if you can do that in 30 mins). Upon hearing I asked that’s means you take on some liability if you train them and they do something stupid. He looked at me for a moment and said AH!

    • In California, government entities and employees are specifically immune for their decisions in issuing or declining to issue any permit, or in making or failing to make any inspection. Yes, anyone can sue anyone else for everything and anything, but that doesn’t mean the suit is valid. Further, California Penal Code expressly permits the issuing enitity to require up to 16 hours of training for a first time applicant, and up to eight hours on a renewal. Typically, the training is half range and half classroom (laws of self-defense). Most instructors start off with the basic handgun safety course from the NRA. In my county, applicants shoot typically 200 rounds–not much, but enough to know where the bullets come out. (And there is no range qualification afer that). [By contrast, San Francisco demands that you do the same range qualification as a SFPD officer, at the same range, in front of their range master–who you (illegally) have to pay for as well (rumored to run aver $1000, but no one knows because there are no CCWs issued by SF at the current time).
      There are still a few counties which require the applicant to provide a certificate of insurance naming the County as an additional insured–a requirement that is both illegal and unnecessary.
      I would think it strange that someone could show up for quals without knowing one end of a gun from the other–maybe you left before they instituted the handgun safety certificate requirment for the purchase of any (nonantique) handgun, a cert that has not only a written test but a (rather simple) “safe handling” demonstration of loading, unloading, and securing of a firearm in compliance with California law.

      • Actually Mark I just found out few weeks ago that there is still one CCW holder in San Francisco. He is a retired general.

        • Really? He wasn’t in the AG stats disclosed to CalGuns a few months ago (for data captured to September 2011). (I downloaded a copy for sh*ts & grins). In fact, at that time, the stats say that SF didn’t even have ANY issued for active or retired police officers.

        • I went to the Police Legal Dept. to poke around for info to see if there was any changes in issuance policy. Seems like it is even harder these days to obtain a permit. A few years back there were less than ten permits. The General was one of them back then also.

          Some permit holders at that time were high profile people with real perceived threats. I got an application but was told don’t waste my time applying .

  9. There isn’t a person in th eworld that can pass that “need” checklist. This is ‘will not issue’ if I ever saw it.

    Hopefully, Alan Gottlieb and the Second Amendment Foundation will take up a case on this and get that Circuit Court (the one with NJ in its district) to rule similar to the way the other Cicuit Court did in the Maryland case. If the Circuit Court rules against the SAF, then they have a case and some “precedent” to take to the SCOTUS. And the SCOTUS could give us a ruling that would mean the end of CCW “may issue” laws nationwide.

  10. I hope no one would actually “need” a firearm in public but just in case I do, the constitution is my permit.

  11. Robert, Question:

    Would you prefer it if RI simply said you must get and maintain CCW personal insurance?

    • I might buy CCW personal insurance, but I’m not happy with a state making me do anything to exercise my Constitutional and State right to keep and bear arms. Show me where I have to register to exercise my First Amendment right.

      • I know. I’m just trying to float some ideas that might lessen somewhat all the hoop-jumping we must do. (I’m a Boston CCW permit holder, and we have our own hoops!)

        I understand your point, and you may or may not agree with me, but I can anticipate a valid potential public safety difference between the open exercise of my 1st Amendment rights and my 2nd Amendment rights. (An errant defensive gun shot will likely have worse consequences than an errant spoken comment, for example.)

      • Try organizing a protest, you’ll have to get a permit to assemble and speak. And lol @ CCW insurance. When I was the defendant in a wrongful death suit, all the plaintiffs attorney asked me over and over again was if the property was insured. It took 1.5 years to show him I was determined to defend myself, but he eventually gave up and dropped the suit. All it cost me was a couple hundred dollars in court fees. My opinion is that getting CCW (or similar insurance) simply encourages these bottom feeding attorneys and their nuisance suits.

  12. RI is a dual-authority state. Chief LEO’s are “shall issue;” the AG is “may issue.” In reality, Chief Leo’s are “I’m a-scared and I don’t wanna issue; please don’t make me.” On the other hand, the AG is more like “FU. You ain’t getting a permit.”

    RI is also a blue card state. No permit is needed to have a gun at home. Also, RI doesn’t have an “assault weapons” law. It also has a very friendly “peaceable journey” law that goes well beyond the Federal FOPA. RI’s law allows me not only to transport a gun through the state, but also to concealed carry it through (but not in) the state with my MA LTC. There are strings attached, but all in all it’s a helpful law.

    So all things considered, aside from being totally corrupt to its core, RI is utterly confused.

  13. Qualification to vote: Be at least eighteen years old, and don’t be a felon.
    Qualification to speak: Have body temperature that is above room temperature. (Here in an Arkansas summer, we’ll even make allowances for this.)
    Qualification to practice a religion: Be alive, and don’t do anything too unusual.
    Qualification to be secure in person, property, and papers: Have a good lawyer.

    As a nation, we need to do better in how we think about and act on some rights. A right is a right, and until we cause direct and actual harm to others, there shouldn’t be one damned thing that the government can do about taking rights away. In fact, a properly functioning government should exist to protect rights.

    • “In fact, a properly functioning government should exist to protect rights.”
      ——
      Any time I hear/read the word “should” I think of another word that starts with “sh”.

  14. Back when I still had the misfortune of living there, the then-Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse granted a no-bid deal to an out-of-state ambulance chaser firm to pursue a tobacco-suit type case against lead paint manufacturers. It was intended to be a test-case for similar suits nationwide, this firm hoping to rake in additional billions in the same manner it did from the tobacco suits.

    Of course that same covey of ambulance chasers donated to his (ultimately unsuccessful) campaign for Governor. And who knows what else that we don’t know about.

    The lead paint suit was ultimately unsuccessful, it legal bases determined to be the overreaching legal frivolities that they were. This same AG Whitehouse also publicly announced that he didn’t care what the law said, he wasn’t going to issue / renew CCW permits while he was AG (unless of course you were connected, which in the RI way did not need to be spoken).

    So what did the zombie-Democrats of RI do? Why elected him to the U.S. Senate, of course.

    And once in the U.S. Senate, who did Whitehouse nominate for a seat on the federal bench? Jack McConnell, one of the ambulance chasers from the lead paint firm.

    Rhode Island is soooooooooo corrupt!

  15. Robert, when you decided to apply for the AG’s permit, did they make you turn in your Providence permit or can you keep both. I’ve never met anyone with both permits, but it would be nice to have both if possible.

  16. Texas…no open carry; legal to carry concealed in your vehicle or going to and/or from with no Concealed Handgun License; CHL holders = all of the above but can carry anywhere not specifically prohibited by law or proper (legal) warning /signage.

  17. in Indiana you just have to live in a county, show up to your local sheriffs office, fill out two papers and give your thumb prints, back ground checked and your out the door for a CC permit for 4 years for $40.
    anything less than what I just described is just wrong.

  18. Robert, the State Seal on the right side of your permit – does it say ‘hope’ or ‘nope’ on the bottom?

    If it’s ‘hope’ then is that a typo?

  19. If one lives in the Northeast and wishes to be covered to carry, one will need multiple permits. I live in Massachusetts and regularly travel to NH, ME, VT, CT and RI. None of these states have reciprocity with one another (with VT being the sole exception and the only state in the region that truly respects all US citizen’s 2A rights). Therefore one needs to secure four additional permits with all of the associated administrative hassle, expense, different expiration dates and lead times. Oh, and if you go to NJ or NY, fuggedaboutit. One’s First Amendment rights don’t end at one’s doorstep or their municipal or state boundaries, neither should one’s Second Amendment rights. That’s why national reciprocity is the only rational solution.

  20. This questionnaire is the reason that I have not applied for a concealed carry permit. I would love to carry, but there’s no f-ing way I’m getting a permit because “I want to carry” isn’t an acceptable response to any of these questions.

    I had an acquaintance tell me his story of denial. The AG’s office denied him even though he routinely transports large quantities of cash to deposit as part of his business, and has been robbed twice.

  21. OMG! OMG! OMG! (There, I said it three times.)
    I’m sure these people have rationalized that this is “reasonable”.
    One wonders how long these 50 (not 57) states will remain one country when there is so much disparity of opinion over something so simple and basic.

    • What was your justification? Former LEO, turned USAF and now retired after 22 yrs. Is this really that hard in RI? Thx in advance.

    • What was your justification? Former LEO, turned USA and now retired after 22 yrs. Is this really that hard in RI? Thx in advance.

      Paul DJ

  22. the bottom line is.. RI is technically a “shall issue” state. however the current AG is using a clause that states while he is in office, he has deemed the state as a “may issue” state.. and until his fag ass gets out – nobody is gonna get a CCW unless you are going into or already into armed security.

    we just need an AG with the same mind as the rest of us. bristol and warren police chiefs will not issue them, but barrington does occasionally do issue them out. all else fails, you better know a judge or a deputy sheriff that is buddy buddy with a judge..

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