Gun laws in Arkansas
|Subject/Law||Long guns||Handguns||Relevant Statutes||Notes|
|State Permit to Purchase?||No||No||None||No|
|"Assault weapon" law?||No||No||None||No|
|Magazine Capacity Restriction?||No||No|
|Owner license required?||No||No||None||No|
|Carry permits issued?||No||Yes||5-73-301 - 5-73-320||Shall-Issue. As of August 16th 2013 Act 746 took effect decriminalizing the carry of firearms, clubs and knives so long as the individual does not intend to use said weapon in the commission of a crime. Despite this, the Arkansas State Police still issue and recognize the Arkansas Concealed Handgun Carry License, as do states that have existing reciprocity with Arkansas.|
|Open Carry?||No||No||Attorney General issued opinion that Act 746 does not decriminalize open carry.|
|State Preemption of local restrictions?||Yes||Yes||5-73-120|
|NFA weapons restricted?||N/A||N/A||5-73-120|
|Peaceable Journey laws?||?||Yes||5-73-120 (c)(4)||[Weapons are allowed if] The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless 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. "Journey" is defined as "travel beyond the county in which a person lives." (5-73-120(B)(3))|
In Arkansas, possession or ownership of a firearm is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony, adjudicated to be mentally defective, or committed involuntarily to a mental institution.
Arkansas has state preemption for most firearms laws. However, localities may enact laws regulating the discharge of firearms, or in emergency situations. Local government units and private individuals may not sue firearms manufacturers or dealers for matters relating to the lawful manufacture or distribution of firearms, except in cases of product liability or breach of contract.
Automatic weapons must be registered with the Arkansas secretary of state, in addition to being registered under federal law.
Open and Concealed Carry
As of August 16, 2013, there is confusion over the legality of permitless carry in Arkansas. For concealed carry, Arkansas offers CCW permits on a "shall issue" basis. However, open carry of handguns is not permitted, except while traveling outside one's county of residence. Applicants must pass a background check and complete a training course to receive a new or renewal concealed carry license. An existing license is suspended or revoked if the license holder is arrested for a felony or for any violent act, becomes ineligible due to mental health treatment, or for a number of other reasons. Concealed firearms may not be carried at a courthouse, meeting place of any government entity, athletic event, tavern, or in a number of other places.
In June 2013, Governor Mike Beebe signed Act 746 into law, which went into effect on August 15, 2013. Act 746 amended Arkansas firearms statutes pertaining to open and concealed carry by decriminalizeing open and concealed carry without a permit, provided the individual carrying either has not—or does not intend to—use the weapon to commit a crime.
However, the language of Act 746 has created confusion over the legality of open and concealed carry without a permit. While gun-rights advocates and some law enforcement agencies have argued that Act 746 legalizes permitless open and concealed carry in Arkansas, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a non-binding opinion on July 8, 2013 stating that Act 746 applies only to persons who are carrying firearms while "on a journey across or through Arkansas," that open carry technically remains illegal and that a valid permit is still required for concealed carry for those who are not traveling across Arkansas. In his opinion written to State Senator Eddie Joe Williams, Attorney General McDaniel defined a journey as "travel beyond one's county of residence," but further stated it would be ultimately up to the discretion of law enforcement officials and county prosecutors as to whether or not persons carrying without a valid permit would be arrested and prosecuted. The Arkansas Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on this issue.
- Brantly, Max. "Attorney general disputes theory that legislature passed open carry gun law by inference". Arkansas Blog. Arkansas Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- Arkansas State Police Regulatory Services Section — Concealed Handgun Licensing
- Arkansas Attorney General Opinion 13-047, July 8, 2013