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Arkansas Gun Laws

Arkansas has some of the nation’s most permissive gun laws. Arkansas state laws generally preempt local and county firearms regulations, with very few exceptions. There are no laws requiring any firearms licensing or registration, and Arkansas has very few restrictions on hardware and ammunition. Arkansas is a ‘shall issue’ state, which makes it relatively simple for citizens to obtain a concealed carry permit. The state’s permissive laws and lack of direct regulation have made Arkansas popular amongst firearms enthusiasts.

Arkansas Gun Laws at a Glance

Concealed Carry Premit Required Yes, unless the carrier is “on a journey” outside of the county in which he or she resides.
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check No
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements

Arkansas does not require gun owners to obtain any kind of license.

Background Checks

State law does not require any kind of background checks for transferring firearms.

However, Arkansas prohibits any person transferring a handgun to an individual who the transferor knows has been found guilty of, or who has pleaded guilty or no contest to, a felony. Arkansas also prohibits a person from transferring a firearm to any person who he or she knows is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing the firearm.
When purchasing from licensed dealers, background checks are required in Arkansas under federal law. Because Arkansas has no state-level requirements for background checks, firearms dealers are required to initiate a background check through the FBI

Gun Shows

Arkansas has no laws regulating gun shows or the transfers of firearms at gun shows.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons No restrictions
50 Caliber Rifles No restrictions
Machine Guns Possession of a machine gun is prohibited and punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for 10 years or more. Arkansas defines a machine gun as “a weapon of any description by whatever name known, loaded or unloaded, from which more than five (5) shots or bullets may be rapidly, or automatically, or semi-automatically, discharged from a magazine, by a single function of the firing device.”
Large Capacity Magazines No restrictions
Ammunition No restrictions.

Prohibited Persons

In addition to existing federal prohibitions, Arkansas prohibits any person from owning a firearm if he or she:

  • Has been convicted of a felony, unless the case was dismissed or expunged.
  • Has been determined to be mentally ill
  • Has been involuntarily committed to any mental institution

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Concealed and unconcealed firearms are prohibited in K-12 schools, on any school bus, or at any designated school bus stop. Firearms may be stored in a vehicle on K-12 premises.
Vehicles Arkansas prohibits anyone from carrying a handgun in a vehicle. Handguns are allowed in vehicles with a concealed carry permit.
Public Courthouse Concealed and unconcealed firearms are prohibited in public courthouses. None.

Concealed Carry Laws

Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs Yes
In-Vehicle Carry Enforced
Restaurant Carry Yes with license
State Park Carry Allowed, except in buildings where any state offices are located.
State Park Carry Permitted as long as the handgun is used for personal protection and not hunting.

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

Arkansas is a “shall issue” state. This means that the governing body must issue a concealed weapons license if the applicant meets the state’s qualifications.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
Applicants for concealed carry licenses in Arkansas must:
  • Is a citizen of the United States or a legal permanent resident
  • Has been a resident of Arkansas continuously for the past 90 days or longer
  • Be legally present in the United States
  • Is 21 years of age or older
  • 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
  • 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 check successfully completed through the Department of Arkansas State Police and the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System
  • Does not chronically or habitually abuse controlled substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired
  • Does not chronically or habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired
  • Desires a legal means to carry a concealed handgun to defend himself or herself
  • Has not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent
  • Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility
  • Is not a fugitive from justice or does not have an active warrant for his or her arrest
  • Has satisfactorily completed a training course as prescribed and approved by the Director
  • Signs a statement of allegiance to the United States and Arkansas Constitutions

The Director may deny a license if the sheriff or chief of police considers the applicant to be a:

  • “danger to himself or herself or others or to the community at large, as demonstrated by past patterns of behavior or participation in an incident involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence, or if the applicant is under a criminal investigation at the time of applying for a license to carry a concealed handgun.”

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

Concealed carry permit applicants must complete a training course that has been prescribed and approved by State Police. The trainer must also be registered with the state police as a Firearms Safety Instructor.

Instructors are required to evaluate an applicant’s competence through a live firing demonstration. The Instructor needs to verify that the applicant displays “a basic level of knowledge, understanding, and practical operation for safe handling of a handgun.”

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a permit, you may not carry a concealed firearm in the following locations under Arkansas law:

  • Any University of Arkansas athletic events
  • Police offices
  • Any buildings of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (except rest areas, weigh stations and public parking areas)
  • Prisons, jails, and other detention facilities
  • Courthouses and courtrooms
  • The meeting place of any government body
  • Any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • Any state office
  • Any athletic event not related to firearms competition in which the license holder is participating
  • Any portion of an establishment, except a restaurant, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • Inside the passenger terminal of any airport
  • Any church or other place of worship
  • Any place where a property owner or manager has exercised discretion to prohibit the possession of a firearm
  • Participating in a parade or demonstration for which a permit is required
  • At a private residence without the permission of the other occupants
  • Any other place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal or state laws or regulations/li>

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.