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.
- Gun Laws at a Glance
- Firearm License Requirements
- Background Checks
- Gun Shows
- Ammunition and Hardware Restrictions
- Prohibited Persons
- Prohibited Places
- Concealed Carry Laws
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|
|Large Capacity Magazine Ban||No|
Firearm License Requirements
Arkansas does not require gun owners to obtain any kind of license.
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
Arkansas has no laws regulating gun shows or the transfers of firearms at gun shows.
Hardware and Ammunition 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|
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
|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
|“No Gun” Signs||Yes|
|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:
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.