Title 11
Criminal Offenses

Chapter 47

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.1

§ 11-47-60.1. Safe storage.

(a) Nothing in this section shall be construed to reduce or limit any existing right to purchase and own firearms and/or ammunition or to provide authority to any state or local agency to infringe upon the privacy of any family, home or business except by lawful warrant.

(b) A person who stores or leaves on premises under his or her control a loaded firearm and who knows or reasonably should know that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent or guardian, and the child obtains access to the firearm and causes injury to himself or herself or any other person with the firearm, is guilty of the crime of criminal storage of a firearm and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. For purposes of this section, a “child” is defined as any person who has not attained the age of sixteen (16) years.

(c) The provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply whenever any of the following occurs:

(1) The child obtains the firearm as a result of an illegal entry of any premises by any person or an illegal taking of the firearm from the premises of the owner without permission of the owner;

(2) The firearm is kept in a locked container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secured;

(3) The firearm is carried on the person or within such a close proximity so that the individual can readily retrieve and use the firearm as if carried on the person;

(4) The firearm is locked with a locking device;

(5) The child obtains or obtains and discharges the firearm in a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person;

(6) The person who keeps a loaded firearm on any premises which is under his or her custody or control has no reasonable expectations, based on objective facts and circumstances, that a child is likely to be present on the premises.

(d)(1) If the person who allegedly violated this section is the parent or guardian of a child who is injured or who dies as the result of an accidental shooting, the attorney general’s department shall consider among other factors, the impact of the injury or death on the person who has allegedly violated this section when deciding whether to prosecute an alleged violation.

(2) It is the intent of the general assembly that a parent or guardian of a child who is injured or who dies of an accidental shooting shall be prosecuted only in those instances in which the parent or guardian behaved in a grossly negligent manner.

History of Section.
P.L. 1995, ch. 62, § 1.