STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION -- Article 2, Section 5.
“The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms, for their common defense.”
Gun Laws Overview
RIFLES & SHOTGUNS
Licensing of Owners
Permit to Carry
Permit to Purchase
Registration of Firearms
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.
Right to Carry Confidentiality
Right to Carry in Restaurants
Right To Carry Laws
No Permit Required
Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition
Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions
RECIPROCITY NOTES: Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan and South Carolina recognize ONLY an Arkansas RESIDENT Permit.
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.
Ark. Code § 5-73-120(a) makes it a crime to carry a handgun, knife, or club on or about the person or in a vehicle or “otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.”
The Arkansas Court of Appeals, in a 2018 decision, Taff v. State, 2018 Ark. App. 488 (Ark. 2018) (https://opinions.arcourts.gov/ark/courtofappeals/en/346005/1/document.do) ruled that “[u]nder the clear language of section 5-73-120(a), the possessor of a handgun must have an unlawful intent to employ it as a weapon against a person in order to make that possession a criminal act. Under the rule of lenity, any doubts as to the interpretation of a criminal statute are resolved in favor of the defendant.” The State did not appeal the ruling.
Section § 5-73-120(a) has not been amended following the Taff decision, but in 2019, both houses of the Arkansas General Assembly passed resolutions with identical wording, declaring that Arkansas is a constitutional carry state, “with no permit required to carry a handgun, either unconcealed or concealed”; see H.R. Res. 1013 and S. Res. 18, 92d Gen. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Ark. 2019).
However, in addition to the federal prohibitions on persons who cannot lawfully possess or acquire a firearm, Arkansas law prohibits the following persons from possessing or owning a firearm: any person convicted of a felony (including cases where the court suspended sentence or placed the defendant on probation) unless the case was dismissed or expunged or the person was pardoned, anyone who has been adjudicated mentally ill, and those who has been committed involuntarily to any mental institution.
No person under 18 years of age may possess a handgun, unless the person falls within the exemptions listed at Ark. Code § 5-73-119(e), including lawfully hunting, or participating in a school-approved educational course or sporting activity involving the use of firearms, or engaged in a 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, or is in their own dwelling or place of business or on property in which he or she has a possessory or proprietary interest, or 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.
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,
place of birth,
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).
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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.
Arkansas statutes are silent on antique and replica firearms. They are treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.