Office of the Attorney General reminds Rhode Islanders of approaching dates for recently enacted firearms legislation
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Following the United States District Court issuing a decision today refusing to enjoin Rhode Island’s ban on large capacity magazines, the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General reminds Rhode Islanders of two key dates for recently enacted firearms safety laws in Rhode Island:
- December 18, 2022, the last day for Rhode Islanders who were already in possession of large capacity magazines to come into compliance with the new ten (10) round limit; and
- January 1, 2023, when new ammunition purchase requirements will come into effect.
During the 2022 legislative session, three firearms safety laws were enacted: a law banning large capacity feeding devices; a law banning the open carry of loaded shotguns and rifles; and a law raising the age to purchase any firearm from 18 to 21, which also imposes new requirements with respect to the purchase of ammunition.
On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island denied a motion for a preliminary injunction against the State of Rhode Island, ruling that the large capacity magazine ban is reasonable and measured, and that plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that this statute is unconstitutional.
Deadline to Comply with Large Capacity Magazine Ban – December 18, 2022
December 18, 2022 is the date for Rhode Islanders who were already (as of June 21, 2022) in possession of large capacity magazines to come into compliance with the new law by doing any of the following:
- Permanently modify the feeding device such that it cannot hold more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition;
- Surrender the feeding device to the police department in the city or town where the person resides or to the Rhode Island State Police;
- Transfer or sell the feeding device to a federally licensed firearm dealer; or
- Transfer or sell the feeding device to a person or firm outside the State of Rhode Island that is lawfully entitled to own or possess such a feeding device.
Examples of permanent modification include the insertion of a limiter or blocker into a non-compliant device which will limit the capacity to ten (10) rounds. The limiter or blocker must be epoxied or riveted to the body of the device to constitute a permanent modification.
State and local law enforcement are prepared for the surrender of your large capacity magazines. Rhode Islanders may surrender their large capacity feeding device(s) to their local police department or to the Rhode Island State Police in either of two ways:
(1) Anonymous surrender to the department, with no questions asked; OR
(2) Documented surrender for anyone who wishes to have a record or receipt of where, when and what was surrendered pursuant to this law.
For any “documented surrender,” the department will store the large capacity magazine(s) in a manner that will allow their return to the owner, in the event that this law is later found to be unconstitutional. Those who choose to surrender anonymously will not be able to reclaim their devices.
Please ensure that your magazine is unloaded and separated from any firearm when you surrender it to your local police department.
New Ammunition Purchase Requirements – January 1, 2023
Beginning January 1, 2023, in order to purchase ammunition, you must be 21 years of age or older and have a valid pistol/revolver safety certificate issued by the DEM, a Rhode Island hunter education course card issued by the DEM, or a permit to carry from either your local police department or the Attorney General.
Additional Guidance, Frequently Asked Questions
Guidance to Rhode Islanders on these topics, with frequently asked questions, is available on the Attorney General’s website here.