Rhode Island Firearm Owners' League

There have been several important cases brought on by Rhode Island citizens who unfortunately had to take legal action to exercise their rights.

Norman T. Gadomski, Jr. v. Joseph H. Tavares, Chief of Police for the City of East Providence (RI Supreme Court, 2015)

This case was heard by the Rhode Island Supreme Court in 2015 and was the most important case in many years. The petitioner was denied for two reason: He failed to demonstrate a need and was also deemed unsuitable due to some arrest many years ago but no charges was ever filed. Both arguments were dismissed by the court, and most importantly the court stated that Gadomski did not have to demonstrate a need to carry a concealable firearm since this is not a requirement per 11-4 7-11. The court order the licensing authority to reconsider the application. The decision can be read here.

Jarren Gendreau v. Josue D. Canario in His Official Capacity as Chief of Police, Bristol Police Department (RI Supreme Court, 2013)

This case is over a denial by the Chief of Police in Bristol, RI. Even though the applicant met all the statutory requirements to be licesned, the applicant was still denied a permit because he did not meet the Chief's criteria. The suit was done by the Stephen Hokins Center for Civil Rights. This is what they write on their website: "In Gendreau v. Canario a Bristol, Rhode Island resident who works as a security guard and volunteer firefighter and has no criminal or mental health history was summarily denied for a concealed carry permit without reason or justification in violation of Rhode Island's shall issue concealed carry permit statute. Stay tuned for the latest updates on this matter. " The petition for Writ of Certiorari can be found here. The memorandum of Law in Support of the Petition for Write of Certiorari can be found here. The objection to the Cert review can be found here. The Supreme Court's order to the Chief to review the application and come up with a valid reason can be found here. July 23rd, 2014: A complaint has now been filed in Federal Court. A brief will be filed in the next few weeks, but here is the complaint.

Archer vs. MacGarry (RI Superior Court, 2002)

The first important case is from 2003 when Mr. Archer sued the chief in his town (Smithfield) because the chief would not accept an application for a Pistol Permit (to carry a concealable eapon). Mr. Archer won in Superior court and the chief was ordered to process the application according to Rhode Island General Law 11-47-11. The chief later issued the permit. Here is a transcript of the hearing. Here is the court order.

Gillette vs. Esserman (RI Superior Court, 2009)

A similar suit was brought on by Mr. Gillette vs. the Chief of Police in Providence. The judge ordered the chief (bench order) to accept an application from Mr. Gillette. Here is a transcript from the hearing. Here is the court order telling the Chief he has 45 days to develop and application and 30 days to process it.

Mosby vs. Devine (RI Supreme Court, 2001)

Another important suit for Rhode Island gun owners is when Mosby sued the Attorney General for not giving him a hearing when his Pistol Permit was denied. Mosby lost the case, but the Rhode Island Supreme Court had some opinions that were very favorable to gun owners since the court confirmed that law abiding citizens that meets the requirements in 11-47-11 shall be issued a permit. Here is a transcript of the court opinion.