How to Sell a Gun in Rhode Island: A Comprehensive Guide

Selling a gun can be a complicated process. It get even more complicated when gun owners sell guns they own through a private party transaction. For those looking to enter a private sale of a firearm, it is recommended to be informed of both state and federal laws in place to ensure all parties involved do not inadvertently violate the regulations on firearm sales.

At Dunlap Gun Buyers, we can eliminate all the hassle and liability that can come with selling a gun by using our service. However, for those looking to sell on their own, we have researched and compiled a useful that explains some of the gun regulations in the the Ocean State.

The following information is compiled from a memorandum of Rhode Island’s State Laws and Published Ordinances from the Rhode Island Office of Attorney General to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

What Selling Options do Gun Owners Have in Rhode Island?

There are a few ways gun owners can sell a firearm in a legal transaction:

  • Gun owners can sell a firearm to a local dealer. This is a good way to help ensure gun owners are complying with gun laws in Rhode Island for firearm sales. However, sellers may be leaving money on the table by selling for much less than the gun’s actual market value.
  • Gun owners can sell a firearm through a private transaction. In the state of Rhode Island, the sale of pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns all necessitates a seven day waiting period and a background check, even when selling to non-licensed individuals in a private party sale. Purchasers must complete a basic pistol/revolver safety course administered by the department of environmental management. A pistol/revolver safety certificate is required, which certifies the completion of this safety course. The seller retains copies of the application for six years, and the duplicate and triplicate copies are destroyed upon a finding of no disqualifying information. The same waiting period, safety certificate, and background check requirements apply to the purchase of rifles and shotguns.
  • Another option if simply wanting to legally dispose of a firearm is surrendering it to local law enforcement. However, by doing this, gun owners potentially lose on hundreds or even thousands of dollars those guns could be worth in a sale.
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What is the Process of Buying a Firearm from a Dealer in Rhode Island?

Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 (firearms transaction form). This form will be maintained by the dealer. A firearms purchaser must, under the permanent provisions of the Federal Brady Law, also undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check, which will be performed by the firearms dealer.

The check will indicate to the dealer whether the purchaser’s background allows for the person to complete the purchase of the firearm.

Rhode Island Firearm Ownership Restrictions

In order to purchase a firearm legally through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer, the buyer must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old.

Along with federal restrictions, Rhode Island states that no person shall purchase, own, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession any firearm if that person:

  • Has been convicted in this state or elsewhere of a crime of violence
  • Is a fugitive from justice
  • Has, in this state or elsewhere, entered a plea of nolo contendere to or been convicted of an offense punishable as a felony under § 12-29-5
  • Has, in this state or elsewhere, entered a plea of nolo contendere to or been convicted of any of the following offenses punishable as a misdemeanor under § 12-29-5:
    • Simple assault
    • Cyberstalking and cyberharassment
    • Violation of a protective order
    • Disorderly conduct (A disorderly conduct conviction shall result in prohibition under this section if and only if the offense involves the use or attempted use of force or the threatened use of a dangerous weapon)
  • The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all persons who enter a plea of nolo contendere to or have been convicted of any of the offenses specified in subsections (a)(3) and (a)(4) of this section (11-47-5), unless and until that person’s matter has been expunged, or upon the completion of the sentence of a one-year filing, or the end of a one-year probationary period that no longer constitutes a conviction pursuant to § 12-18-3.
  • No person shall purchase, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession any firearm if that person is subject to an order issued pursuant to chapter 15 of title 15, chapter 8.1 of title 8, or an equivalent order in this state or elsewhere, which order was issued after the person restrained has received notice of the proceedings and had an opportunity to be heard.
  • No person who is in community confinement pursuant to the provisions of § 42-56-20.2, or who is otherwise subject to electronic surveillance or monitoring devices as a condition of parole, shall purchase, carry, transport, or have in his or her possession any firearm. This subsection shall not apply to any person who has not been convicted of (or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to) a crime of violence in a court of competent jurisdiction.
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  • Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
  • Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
  • Felony pre-trial release.
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
  • Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • Illegal alien.

Save the Hassle, Sell your Gun to Dunlap Gun Buyers

If the hassle of navigating Rhode Island’s gun laws seems overwhelming, we’re excited to tell you that there’s a better way!

You can safely, easily and legally sell your handgun or long gun to Dunlap Gun Buyers and be 100% compliant with Rhode Island gun laws.

We have a Federal Firearms Licensee, who is licensed by the U.S. Government to help people with selling and transferring firearms. We take care of the hard part and make the process safe, quick and hassle-free. The reality is, you can sell your gun without leaving the house.

Just tell us which gun(s) you’d like to sell, we’ll make you an offer, and once we agree on a price, you’ll mail us your gun(s) with all expenses paid by us. When we receive your gun(s), we get you paid with a check in your hand within a few days.

When you use Dunlap Gun Buyers, you get the following unbeatable benefits!

Free gun appraisal  –  Fair price for your gun –  Free shipping

Easy shipment tracking throughout the whole process. Speedy payment!

Begin our safe and discrete process here.

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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 09/15/2023 at

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