Permit to Carry a Pistol or Revolver
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws § 11-47-11, the licensing authorities of any city or town shall issue a license or permit to carry a pistol or revolver to any person twenty-one (21) years of age or over upon a proper showing of need. This statute requires the licensing authority to deny a pistol permit to all persons who do not demonstrate a proper showing of need to carry a pistol or revolver on their person. No one in the State has a right to obtain a pistol permit. A pistol permit is a privilege left to the discretion of the Attorney General or the licensing authority of the city or town. The licensing authority for the Town of Tiverton is the Chief of the Tiverton Police Department.
The Chief of Police will exercise his discretion in a manner designed to protect the public at large as well as the individual applicant for a pistol permit.
Pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-15, the applicant must also qualify to obtain a permit. The right to carry a loaded, concealed firearm in public is different from the right to purchase or possess a handgun in one’s own home or business. The privilege to carry a concealed firearm is limited to those who demonstrate a need for, and an understanding and acceptance of, this responsibility.
The Chief of Police and the Tiverton Police Department do not discriminate in the issuance of a pistol permit on grounds of race, sex, national origin, or any other reason prohibited by law.
An applicant for a pistol permit must submit a written application to the Tiverton Police Department, 20 Industrial Way, Tiverton, RI 02878. The Tiverton Police Department only accepts the TIVERTON POLICE DEPARTMENT APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO CARRY A CONCEALED PISTOL OR REVOLVER. We do not accept the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Application. Applications will be turned into the Records Division Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 3:00 pm ONLY (excluding holidays). You will be contacted at a later date to make an appointment to have your fingerprints and photographs taken. Members of the Tiverton Police Department then check the applicant’s background with state, local and federal law enforcement databases. Members of the Tiverton Police Department will also check court records and other sources for pending criminal cases, restraining orders and/or discrepancies in the applicant’s background, including prior history of mental illness.
The Chief of Police will not issue a pistol permit to any applicant who is prohibited from possessing or carrying a firearm under any State or Federal law (e.g. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)) or pursuant to any Court order.
If this initial check does not disqualify the applicant from obtaining a pistol permit, the Chief of Police shall review the application on an individual basis to determine whether there has been a proper showing of need, as required by the statute, and whether the applicant is qualified.
The application, fingerprint card and photos become part of the records of the Tiverton Police Department and will not be returned. ALL PERMITS WILL EXPIRE FOUR (4) YEARS FROM THE DATE OF ISSUE. THE RENEWAL OF YOUR PERMIT IS YOUR OBLIGATION. No notification of expiration of the permit will be sent to you. ALLOW A MINIMUM OF NINETY (90) DAYS FOR PROCESSING YOUR APPLICATION.
PROPER SHOWING OF NEED
In considering each individual application for a pistol permit the Chief of Police 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 danger to the public and the applicant, the Chief of Police will consider countervailing risks to the public in assessing need.
While there cannot be any set formula or criteria to limit or restrict the Chief of Police’s discretion to issue or deny a pistol permit, the Chief of Police considers the following factors in assessing an applicant’s proper showing of need.
1. Has the applicant demonstrated a specific 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 that he or she has not used a firearm for an unlawful or improper purpose in the past?
8. Does past unlawful, dangerous or violent conduct of the applicant justify denial at the Chief of Police’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 8-8.1 of the general l laws?
10. Any and all other factors deemed lawful and appropriate by the Chief of Police to demonstrate that the applicant is or is not a person suitable to possess a loaded firearm in public.
After assessing the above factors, the Chief of Police in his sole discretion shall grant or deny the pistol permit. In addition to these reasons, the Chief of Police will give consideration to those persons who seek renewal of existing permits who have demonstrated through their actions and experience a level of responsibility commensurate with that expected of one who is privileged to carry a loaded firearm in the public sector.
OUT OF STATE APPLICATIONS
For non Tiverton residents the Tiverton Police Department will only consider applicants who demonstrate a legitimate business interest or personal safety concerns WITHIN THE TOWN OF TIVERTON. A color copy of your active permit to carry a concealed pistol or revolver (License to Carry “LTC”) from your home state must be attached to this application. As part of the background check process, the Tiverton Police Department will be sending an inquiry regarding your suitability to be issued a permit to the police department of the city or town in which you reside. If we receive negative information from the department or the department fails to respond to the inquiry your request will be denied.
Approved holders must maintain, use, and store their firearm or firearms in a responsible manner. All permit holders are required to inform their respective city or town police departments, as well as the Bureau of Criminal Identification of the Department of Attorney General, within 24 hours of becoming aware of the loss or theft of a weapon. If you do not report a loss or theft timely, your permit may be suspended.
This policy is meant as a general guideline to aid the public in understanding the Chief of Police’s authority to carry out the requirements of Rhode Island General Laws § 11-47-11 and other applicable state and federal laws and it shall be followed as a guideline in the assessment of applications for a pistol permit. This policy is not intended to and does not confer any rights on any person.