Arkansas

Updated as of Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

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 (State only), Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota (Class 1 only), Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  • Arkansas recognizes permits from:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana (State only), Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota (Class 1 only), Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, 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 employ it as a weapon against a person. It is also unlawful to possess a firearm upon the property of public or private schools, public or private college or upon a school bus. READ ALL

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 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.

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 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 5 years from the date of issuance and may include up to 3 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,
  • 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 non-refundable fee for ages 64 years and younger is $147.25, which includes the application and background check fee.  If you are ages 65 or older then the fee is $95.25.  Renewal fee is $63.00 and a late renewal fee is $78.00.  

The director shall issue the license if the applicant:

  • is a resident of the State for 90 days or longer;
  • is at least 21;
  • 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); 
  • 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 2 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.

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, provided that the concealed handgun law of the state that issued the license is at least as restrictive as Arkansas’ concealed handgun law and that the state that issued the license recognizes Arkansas’ concealed handgun licenses.

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;
  • any 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;
  • any state office building;
  • any place of worship;
  • any airport terminal; or
  • where prohibited by federal law.

Carrying of a concealed handgun may not be allowed in any place in the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical location of such place by the placing of a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less than 10 feet that the “carrying of a handgun is prohibited” and posted at each entrance to the location.  No sign shall be required for private homes and any licensee entering a private home shall notify the occupants that he is carrying a concealed handgun.

It is unlawful to transport a firearm in a boat at night, unless it is unloaded and cased.

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 thereof, to carry or possess a loaded firearm in any State office building or other State owned building, or on the State Capitol 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.

Machine guns must be registered with the Secretary of State, in addition to being registered under 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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