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What Are the Gun Laws in Arkansas?

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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.

State Requirements

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No

Handguns

  • Permit to purchase handgun? No
  • Registration of handguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes

Purchase and Possession:

No state permit is required for the purchase or possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Possession or ownership of any firearm is unlawful for any person who has been:
  • Convicted of a felony.
  • Adjudicated a mental defective.
  • Committed involuntarily to any mental institution.

It is unlawful to sell, give, rent, or otherwise furnish a firearm to a person under 18 without the consent of a parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the general supervision of the minor's welfare.
It is unlawful for a person to possess a handgun on or about his person, in a vehicle occupied by him, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ it as a weapon against a person. It is also unlawful to possess a firearm upon the property of schools, colleges or upon a school bus.
It is a defense that at the time of the act:
  • The person is in his own dwelling or place of business or on property in which he has a possessor or proprietary interest.

  • The person is a law enforcement officer, prison guard, or member of the armed forces, acting in the course and scope of official duties.
  • The person is, by request, assisting a law enforcement officer, prison guard, or member of the armed forces acting in the course and scope of his official duties.

  • The person is carrying a handgun when upon a journey, unless he is under 18.

  • The person is a licensed security guard acting in the course and scope of his duties.

  • The person is taking a hunter safety course, hunting or going to and from such activities.

  • The person is taking part in a school approved educational or sporting activity.
  • The person is a minor engaged in lawful marksmanship competition or other lawful recreational shooting under the supervision of his parent or legal guardian or is traveling to or from this activity with an unloaded handgun or firearm accompanied by his parent or legal guardian.

It is lawful to carry a handgun concealed with a license. Application for a license to carry a handgun concealed is made to the Arkansas State Police. The license is valid throughout the state for four years from the date of issuance and may include up to three handguns. The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification.

The application shall be completed under oath on a form promulgated by the Director of State Police and shall include the applicant's name, address, place of birth, race, sex, occupation, driver's license or social security number, full-face photograph and a statement of whether the applicant is applying for an unrestricted permit, which allows the person to carry any handgun, or a restricted permit, which allows the person to carry any handgun other than a semiautomatic handgun.

The license shall be renewed upon receipt of the completed renewal application and appropriate payment of fees. The Director of State Police shall issue the license if the applicant:
  • Is a resident of the State for one year or longer.

  • Is at least 21.

  • Does not suffer from a mental or physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a handgun.

  • Has not threatened or attempted suicide.

  • Has not been convicted of a felony.

  • Has not been found guilty of one or more crimes of violence.

  • Has not been found guilty of carrying a weapon within the preceding five years.
  • Is not subject to any federal, state or local law which makes it unlawful to receive, possess or transport any firearm.

  • Has had a background check through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

  • Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a treatment facility for the abuse of a controlled substance or been found guilty of a crime relating to controlled substances within the previous three years.

  • Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed as an alcoholic to a treatment facility or has not been convicted of two or more alcohol offenses within the previous three years.
  • Does not chronically or habitually abuse controlled substances to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired.

  • Desires a legal means to carry a concealed handgun to defend himself.

  • Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility.

  • Is not a fugitive from justice.

  • Has satisfactorily completed a training course as prescribed and approved by the Director of State Police.

  • Signs a statement of allegiance to the United States and the Arkansas Constitution.

The director shall issue or deny the license within 120 days. If the director denies the license, the director shall notify the applicant in writing, stating the grounds for denial.

The decision of the director shall be final. Within 30 days after the change of address or within 30 days after having a license or handgun lost or disposed of, the licensee shall notify the director in writing of such change or loss or disposition.

A license does not authorize any person to carry a concealed handgun into:

  • Any police station.

  • Any Arkansas Highway Police facility.

  • Any buildings of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, or onto any parking lots or grounds adjacent to such buildings.

  • Any detention facility, courthouse or courtroom.

  • Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.

  • Any school or college or event unless for the purpose of participating in an authorized firearms-related activity.

  • Any polling place, meeting of a governmental body, state office building, place of worship, airport terminal or where prohibited by federal law.

Antiques

Arkansas statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.

Miscellaneous

  • It is unlawful to deface the serial number or identification mark of a firearm, or to knowingly possess such a firearm.

  • It is unlawful to shoot from or across a public road or right of way.
A local unit of government shall not enact any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner, the ownership, transfer, transportation, carrying, or possession of firearms, ammunition for firearms, or components of firearms, except as otherwise provided in state or federal law.

This shall not prevent the enactment of an ordinance regulating or forbidding the unsafe discharge of a firearm.

See Also:
National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action

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