Guns and Weapons Charges

The Rhode Island “Firearms Act”, or weapons statute, can be found at RIGL 11-47.  The statute sets out a number of criminal acts relating to the possession and/or use of a concealed weapon.  These crimes are felonies and carry serious penalties if convicted.

RIGL 11-47-8 is the statute concerning possession of a firearm.  It is unlawful to carry a pistol on your person or in a vehicle without a proper license.  A first conviction under this statute includes a prison sentence of at least one (1) year and not more than ten (10) years in addition to a fine up to $10,000.00 or both.

Possession of other weapons also carries serious penalties.  Possession of a sawed off shotgun can result in up to ten years in prison and $5,000.00 in fines.  Possession of other illegal weapons, such as machetes, clubs, or illegal martial arts weapons, can result in a year in prison and $1,000.00 fine.

Other weapons charges which you may face include:
  • Larceny of a weapon;
  • Carrying a dangerous weapon when committing a crime of violence;
  • Using a firearm when committing a crime of violence;
  • Carrying a stolen firearm when committing a crime of violence;
  • Possession during commission of a felony;
  • Possession of a gun while intending to deliver or sell drugs;
  • Possession of arms by a person convicted of a crime of violence or who is a fugitive from justice.

To make a proper defense more difficult, RIGL 11-47-4 holds that being armed, in and of itself, is sufficient evidence to show intent to commit a crime of violence.  

These are very serious charges and you may be facing jail time if caught with an unlicensed gun of any kind.  Contact our office right away for a free consultation so that we may begin working on your defense.