Arkansas

Updated as of Thursday, May 29, 2014.

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

“The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep for their common defense.”

Article 2, Section 5.

Important/Relevant Gun Laws

RIFLES AND SHOTGUNSHANDGUNS
Permit to PurchaseNoNo
Registration of FirearmsNoNo
Licensing of OwnersNoNo
Permit to CarryNoYes

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

Reciprocity

  • These states recognize Arkansas permits:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota , Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • Arkansas recognizes permits from:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota , Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Map of states recognizing Arkansas permits:

A synopsis of Arkansas state laws on purchase, possession and carrying of firearms.

PURCHASE AND POSSESSION

No state permit is required for the purchase or possession of a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. READ ALL

 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.

Possession of firearms in fields, forests, along streams, or in any location known to be game cover shall be considered prima facie evidence that the possessor is hunting. It is unlawful to refuse or to fail to immediately surrender for inspection any weapon on request of a wildlife officer or other person authorized to enforce regulations of the (game) Commission.

HIDE
CARRYING

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 attempt to unlawfully employ it as a weapon against a person.  READ ALL

However, it is permissible to carry a handgun if, at the time of carrying the weapon:

  • 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, and acting in the course and scope of official duties.
  • The person is a prosecuting attorney or deputy prosecuting attorney authorized to carry firerarms in the course and scope of his or her duties and 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, who is acting in the course and scope of his or her official duties.
  • The person is carrying a handgun when upon a journey beyond the county in which a person livesunless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person's checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon;
  • The person is a registered commissioned security guard acting in the course and scope of his or her duties.
  • The person is hunting game with a handgun that may be hunted with a handgun under rules and regulations of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission or is en route to or from a hunting area for the purpose of hunting game with a handgun.
  • The person in possession of a concealed handgun has a valid license to carry a concealed handgun under state law, and is not in a place where concealed carrying is prohibited by law.
  • The person is a certified law enforcement officer, or a retired law enforcement officer with a valid concealed carry authorization issued under federal or state law.

No person under 18 years of age may possess a handgun, and it is unlawful to possess a firearm upon the developed property of a public or private school, K-12; in a school bus; or at a designated bus stop as identified on the route list published by a school district annually. However, these prohibitions do not apply if at the time of the act of possessing a handgun or firearm:

  • 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 his or her 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 or her official duties.
  • The person is a registered commissioned security guard acting in the course and scope of his or her duties.
  • The person is hunting game with a handgun or firearm that may be hunted with a handgun or firearm under the rules and regulations of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission or is en route to or from a hunting area for the purpose of hunting game with a handgun or firearm.  
  • The person is a certified law enforcement officer.
  • The person is on a journey beyond the county in which the person lives, unless the person is eighteen (18) years of age or less.
  • The person is participating in a certified hunting safety course sponsored by the commission or a firearm safety course recognized and approved by the commission or by a state or national nonprofit organization qualified and experienced in firearm safety.
  • The person is participating in a school-approved educational course or sporting activity involving the use of firearms.
  • The person is a minor engaged in lawful marksmanship competition or practice 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.
  • The person has a valid concealed handgun license and is carrying a concealed handgun on the developed property of a kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) private school operated by a church or other place of worship that: is located on the developed property of the private school; allows the person to carry a concealed handgun into the church or other place of worship; and allows the person to possess a concealed handgun on the developed school property.

A person is prohibited from carrying or possessing a handgun (including in an occupied vehicle) on the property of any private institution of higher education or a publicly supported institution of higher education, with a purpose to employ the handgun as a weapon against a person, although a person with a valid concealed carry license may carry if he or she is a staff member and there is no policy or posting prohibiting the carrying of a concealed handgun on the property.

Arkansas courts have held that there is a legal presumption of fact that a loaded handgun under the front seat or in the glove compartment of a car driven by the defendant has been placed there as a weapon. This presumption may be refuted by proof offered by the defendant, but it is a question of fact for the jury to decide whether the handgun is carried as a weapon. Generally, law enforcement authorities agree that an unloaded and cased handgun is not carried as a weapon.

It is lawful to carry a handgun concealed provided the person has a valid license.

An application for a license to carry a handgun concealed is made to the Arkansas State Police. The license is valid throughout the state for 5 years from the date of issuance. The licensee must carry the license, or an electronic copy of the license in an "acceptable electronic format," together with valid identification, at any time when the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun. An "acceptable electronic format" means an electronic image produced on the person's own cellular phone or other type of portable electronic device that displays all of the information on a concealed handgun license as clearly as the original concealed handgun license. 

The concealed handgun license 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,
  • driver’s license or social security number,
  • a set of fingerprints, 
  • digital photograph of the applicant, 
  • the applicable fee, 
  • a waiver authorizing access to any medical, criminal, or other records concerning the applicant and permitting access to all of the applicant's criminal records, 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 non-refundable fee for applicants aged 64 years and younger is $147.25 (online application) or $141.50 (mailed-in application), which includes the application and background check fee.  For those aged 65 or older, the fee is $95.25 (online application) or $91.50 (mailed-in application). The renewal fee is $60.00 (non-expired license) and $75 if the license has expired for less than six months. Licenses that have been expired for over six months are not liable for renewal and a new application is required.  

The director shall issue the license if the applicant:

  • is a citizen of the United States;
  • is a resident of the State for 90 days or longer (unless the person is a retired city, county, state, or federal law enforcement officer, or active duty member of the US armed forces or spouse who submits documentation of such active duty status);
  • is at least 21 years old;
  • does not suffer from a mental or physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a handgun and 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 or for the offense 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, and has had his or her background checked through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS);
  • does not chronically or habitually abuse a controlled substance, or chronically or habitually use an alcoholic beverage, to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired (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; or has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed as an alcoholic to a treatment facility or has not been convicted of 2 or more alcohol offenses within the previous three years);
  • desires a legal means to carry a concealed handgun to defend himself or herself;
  • has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent, or 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 subject to appeal under the Arkansas Administrative Procedure Act. Within 30 days after the change of address or within 30 days after having a license lost, the licensee shall notify the director in writing of such change or loss.

Any person in possession of a valid license issued by another state to carry a concealed handgun shall be entitled to the privileges and subject to the restrictions prescribed by Arkansas’ concealed handgun law.

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

  • Any police station, sheriff's station, or Department of Arkansas State Police station; any Arkansas Highway Police Division of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department facility; or any building of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department or onto grounds adjacent to any building of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (except a rest area or weigh station of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department).
  • Any detention facility, prison, or jail.
  • Any courthouse or courtroom.
  • Any polling place.
  • Any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity; any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly; or any state office.
  • Any athletic event not related to firearms.
  • Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant as defined by law, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises or where beer or light wine is consumed on the premises.
  • A school, college, community college, or university campus building or event, unless for the purpose of participating in an authorized firearms-related activity. This does not apply to a kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) private school operated by a church or other place of worship and located on the developed property of the private school that allows a licensee to carry a concealed handgun into the church or other place of worship and allows the licensee to possess a concealed handgun on the developed property of the private school under § 5-73-119(e).
  • Inside the passenger terminal of any airport, except that a person may carry any legal firearm into the passenger terminal if the firearm is encased for shipment for the purpose of checking the firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft.
  • Any church or other place of worship, although the church or place or worship may determine who may carry a concealed weapon into the church or place of worship.
  • Any place where carrying is prohibited by federal law.
  • Any place where a parade or demonstration requiring a permit is being held, and the licensee is a participant in the parade or demonstration.
  • Places that are premitted to post premises as "no carry" and where the person or entity exercising control over the physical location of the place has posted the premises as the “carrying of a handgun is prohibited,” with the signage as required by law. The written notice must be clearly readable at a distance of not less than ten feet and state that “carrying a handgun is prohibited.” For places that do not have a roadway entrance, there shall be a written notice placed anywhere upon the premises, and at least one written notice posted within every three acres. No written notice is required for a private home; however, a licensee entering a private home and carrying a concealed handgun is required to notify the occupant that he or she is carrying a concealed handgun

It is unlawful to transport a firearm in a boat at night, unless it is unloaded and cased. Ark. Admin. Code 002.00.1-05.06.

It is unlawful for any person, other than a law enforcement officer or a security guard in the employ of the State or any agency of the state, or any city or county, or any state or federal military personnel, to (1) knowingly carry or possess a loaded firearm or other deadly weapon in any publicly owned building or facility or on the State Capitol grounds, or (2) knowingly carry or possess a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, in the State Capitol Building or the Justice Building in Little Rock. “Facility” means a municipally owned or maintained park, football field, baseball field, soccer field, or another similar municipally owned or maintained recreational structure or property. However, these prohibitions do not apply to a person carrying or possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon in a publicly owned building or facility or on the State Capitol grounds for the purpose of participating in a shooting match or target practice under the auspices of the agency responsible for the building or facility or grounds or if necessary to participate in a trade show, exhibit, or educational course conducted in the building or facility or on the grounds.

HIDE

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

MACHINE GUNS

A machine gun is defined as a weapon of any description by whatever name known, loaded or unloaded from which more than five shots or bullets may be rapidly, or automatically, or semi-automatically discharged from a magazine, by a single function of the firing device.

A person commits the offense of the criminal use of a prohibited weapon if, except as authorized by law, he or she uses, possesses, makes, repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in any machine gun. Ark.  Code Ann. § 5-73-104(a). Defenses are listed in § 5-73-104(b) and § 5-73-105 and include possession, use, etc. “under circumstances negating any likelihood that the weapon could be used as a weapon.”  In addition, possession or use of a machine gun for an offensive or aggressive purpose is a crime under Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-204. There is a presumption of an offensive or aggressive purpose in certain circumstances listed in Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-205(a) (e.g., when the machine gun is on premises not owned or rented for bona fide permanent residence or business occupancy by the person in whose possession the machine gun is found, and the machine gun has not been registered to a corporation in the business of manufacturing ammunition or a representative of the corporation under the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act, and is not being used primarily to test ammunition in a nonoffensive and nonaggressive manner by the corporation or the corporation's representative, where the corporation or the corporation's representative is not prohibited from the possession of a firearm by any state or federal law).

Range Protection

A shooting range may not be held liable in a civil lawsuit or criminal action based on a claim of noise or noise pollution.  READ ALL

ARK. CODE ANN. § 16-105-502. Sport shooting ranges; exemptions from nuisance and noise pollution suits

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person who operates or uses a sport shooting range in this state shall not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution for noise or noise pollution resulting from the operation or use of the range if the range is in compliance with noise control ordinances of local units of government that applied to the range and its operation at the time the range was constructed and began operation.

(b) A person who operates or uses a sport shooting range is not subject to an action for nuisance, and no court of the state may enjoin the use or operation of a range on the basis of noise or noise pollution, if the range is in compliance with noise control ordinances of units of local government that applied to the range and its operation at the time the range was constructed and began operation.

(c) A person who subsequently acquires title to or who owns real property adversely affected by the use of property with a permanently located sport shooting range shall not maintain a nuisance action against the person who owns the range to restrain, enjoin, or impede the use of the range unless there has been a substantial change in the nature of the use of the range or by a person using the range.

(d) Rules or regulations adopted by any state agency for establishing levels of noise allowable in the outdoor atmosphere shall not apply to a sport shooting range exempted from liability under this subchapter.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to limit civil liability except in the limited case of noise pollution.

HIDE
Preemption

A local unit of government may not enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation affecting firearms or ammunition. READ ALL

ARK. CODE ANN. § 14-16-504. Regulation by local unit of government

(a) As used in this section, “local unit of government” means a city, town, or county.

(b)(1)(A) 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.

(B) The provision in subdivision (b)(1)(A) of this section does not prevent the enactment of an ordinance regulating or forbidding the unsafe discharge of a firearm.

(2)(A) A local unit of government shall not have the authority to bring suit and shall not have the right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer for damages, abatement, or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.

(B) The authority to bring any suit and the right to recover against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, or dealer for damages, abatement, or injunctive relief shall be reserved exclusively to the State of Arkansas.

(C) However, subdivisions (b)(1)(A) and (B) of this section do not prevent a local unit of government from bringing suit against a firearm or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the local unit of government.

(c)(1) The governing body of a local unit of government, following the proclamation by the Governor of a state of emergency, is prohibited from enacting an emergency ordinance regulating the transfer, transportation, or carrying of firearms or components of firearms.

(2) A person who has his or her firearm seized in violation of subdivision (c)(1) of this section may bring an action in the circuit court having jurisdiction for the return of the seized firearm.

HIDE
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.

Only the State of Arkansas has the authority to bring suit against a firearm or ammunition manufacturer or dealer, however in a proclamation by the Governor of a state of emergency, the governing body of a local unit of government may enact an emergency ordinance regulating firearms.

A local unit of government shall not enact impose any restriction on firearm ownership or possession during a declared state of emergency.

Sources:  Arkansas Code Annotated § 5-73-101 through § 5-73-402.

CAUTION: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. This summary does not include federal or local laws, ordinances or regulations. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation. YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

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