TITLE 11
Criminal Offenses

CHAPTER 11-47
Weapons

SECTION 11-47-5.5


§ 11-47-5.5. Motion to lift firearms prohibition for persons convicted of specified misdemeanor domestic violence offenses – Consecutive prohibitions – Return of surrendered firearms.

(a) A person prohibited from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession any firearm solely because of a plea of nolo contendere to or a conviction of an offense enumerated in § 11-47-5(a)(4) may file a motion in the district court to have that firearm prohibition lifted in accordance with this section. A person who is otherwise prohibited under state law from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession any firearm shall not be eligible for relief under this section.

(b) Except for those cases where the defendant is eligible to reclaim firearms after the one year completion of a filing or probation under § 12-18-3, a person shall become eligible to file a motion seeking relief under this section after five (5) years from the date of the completion of his or her sentence, unless, during that five (5)-year period, the person enters a plea of nolo contendere to or is convicted of any new offense enumerated in § 11-47-5(a)(4).

(1) A person already prohibited from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession any firearm under § 11-47-5(a)(4) who pleads nolo contendere to or is convicted of any new offense enumerated in § 11-47-5(a)(4) shall be subject to an additional six (6)-year firearm prohibition under § 11-47-5(a)(4). That additional prohibition shall run consecutively to the prohibition already in effect at the time the person pleaded nolo contendere to or was convicted of the new offense.

(2) A person made subject to consecutive firearms prohibitions in accordance with this subsection shall not become eligible to file a motion seeking relief under this section until their consecutive prohibition periods have fully elapsed.

(c) No filing fee shall be charged for the filing of a motion seeking relief under this section.

(d) The district court shall schedule a hearing on a motion seeking relief under this section no later than thirty (30) days from the date the motion is filed.

(e) The district court shall only consider whether the required amount of time to retrieve the firearms has expired, and that no other legal prohibition exists to prevent the respondent from recovering his or her firearms. If the court lifts a person's firearm prohibition pursuant to this section, the court shall issue the person written notice that the person is no longer prohibited from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in his or her possession any firearm under § 11-47-5(a)(4).

(f) A firearm surrendered to the Rhode Island state police or a local police department by a person formerly prohibited under § 11-47-5(a)(4) who is granted relief under this section shall be returned to the person upon his or her request when:

(1) The person formerly prohibited under § 11-47-5(a)(4) provides written proof issued by the court indicating that the firearm prohibition has been lifted pursuant to this section; and

(2) The Rhode Island state police or a local police department determines that the person formerly prohibited under § 11-47-5(a)(4) is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law.

(g) A court's grant of relief pursuant to this section shall not constitute an expungement, nor shall it in any way impact, negate, or otherwise modify the person's prior conviction of an offense enumerated in § 11-47-5(a)(4).

History of Section.
(P.L. 2017, ch. 374, § 6; P.L. 2017, ch. 385, § 6.)