In 2020, Rhode Island enacted a law which generally makes it unlawful for a person that is not a federally licensed firearms manufacturer to manufacture, sell, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, posses, or have under their control either an unserialized ghost gun or an undetectable firearm. 1
The law defines “Ghost gun” as: “A firearm, including a frame or receiver, that lacks a unique serial number engraved or cased in metal alloy on the frame or receiver by a licensed manufacturer, maker, or importer under federal law or markings in accordance with 27 C.F.R. § 479.102.”2 The definition of “firearm” includes frames and receivers, as well as any instrument that “may readily be converted to expel a projectile,” except if they are designed or normally used for a primary purpose other than as a weapon.”3
“Undetectable firearm” is defined as:
“Any firearm that:
- After removal of all parts, other than a major component, is not as detectable by walk- through metal detectors commonly used at airports or other public buildings; or
- Any major component of which, if subjected to inspection by the types of detection devices commonly used at airports or other public buildings for security screening, would not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the component; or
- Is manufactured wholly of plastic, fiberglass, or through a 3D printing process; or
- Upon which the frame or receiver lacks a unique serial number engraved or cased into on the frame or receiver by a licensed manufacturer, maker, or importer under federal law, or markings in accordance with 27 C.F.R. § 479.102. Provided, however, this subsection shall not apply to any firearm rendered permanently inoperable or a firearm manufactured prior to 1968.” 4
See our policy page on Ghost Guns for more information on the subject.
- R.I. Gen. Laws Section 11-47-8(e).
- This does not include firearms that are rendered permanently inoperable. R.I. Gen. Laws Section 11-47-2(8).
- R.I. Gen. Laws Section 11-47-2(6).
- R.I. Gen. Laws Section 11-47-2(20).