Skip to Main Content
Last updated .

Rhode Island generally prohibits the manufacture, sale, purchase, or possession of a machine gun.1 The state Attorney General may, however, issue to any person, firm, or corporation engaged in manufacturing in the state a license or permit to manufacture and sell machine guns and any or all machine gun parts.2

In 2018, Rhode Island also enacted a law that makes it an offense to convert a semiautomatic firearm to fire as a fully automatic firearm.3

This new law also prohibits possession of certain devices intended to attach to a semiautomatic firearm to increase the weapon’s rate of fire, such as bump stocks, trigger cranks, and binary triggers, as well as any other device that, when attached to a semiautomatic weapon, “allows full automatic fire.”4

Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.5 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.6

 See our Machine Guns and Automatic Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-8(a).[]
  2. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-19.[]
  3. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-8.1 (enacted by 2017 RI H 7075 and 2017 RI SB 2292.[]
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-8(d) (enacted by 2017 RI H 7075 and 2017 RI SB 2292.[]
  5. 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d).[]
  6. Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479).[]