Gun laws in Arkansas

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Gun laws in Arkansas regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Arkansas in the United States.

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State Permit to Purchase? No No None No
Firearm registration? 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. The Arkansas State Police issue and recognize the Arkansas Concealed Handgun Carry License, as do states that have existing reciprocity with Arkansas.
Open Carry? Yes Situation
Unclear
5-73-120 "It was the intent of the sponsors of Act 746 to decriminalize the open carry of a firearm by persons not prohibited from legally possessing the firearm. It’s my belief that the language contained in 5-73-120 (a) will effectively do so when the new law takes effect on August 16." Nate Bell Cosponsor of Act 746 [1] This has yet to be sufficiently clarified.[2] However, it is not illegal to openly carry rifles and shotguns.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes 5-73-120
NFA weapons restricted? N/A N/A 5-73-120
Shall Certify? Yes Yes 5-73-112 Shall certify within 15 days.
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))
Location of Arkansas in the United States

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[edit]

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. Open carry of handguns is permitted in some counties, and seems to be legal by a simple reading of the law, yet some Arkansas states officials deny that it is legal. A judicial clarification is pending.[3] 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.

Act 746[edit]

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 open and concealed carry in Arkansas without a permit, 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 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.[4] The Arkansas Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on this issue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDaniel, Dustin (July 8, 2013). "Opinion No. 2013-047", Arkansas Attorney General. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  2. ^ Brantly, Max. "Attorney general disputes theory that legislature passed open carry gun law by inference". Arkansas Blog. Arkansas Times. Retrieved 28 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Lawmakers Ask Attorney General for Clarification on State Open Carry Law
  4. ^ Arkansas Attorney General Opinion 13-047, July 8, 2013