Home State Gun Laws Arkansas Gun Laws

Arkansas Gun Laws

Arkansas Gun Laws



Over the last ten years, Arkansas’s gun laws have undergone significant changes, reflecting shifts in public opinion, legislative priorities, and evolving attitudes towards firearms. From concealed carry laws to background checks, these amendments have aimed to find a balance between protecting Second Amendment rights and ensuring public safety. This article presents a comprehensive overview of the key developments in Arkansas’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, organized in the form of bullet points:

2013 – Background Checks and Concealed Carry:

   – Arkansas enacts legislation requiring background checks for concealed carry permit applicants, ensuring that individuals with disqualifying factors are denied permits.

2014 – Enhanced Background Checks for Mental Health Records:

   – The state strengthens reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to prevent firearm access by individuals deemed ineligible.

2015 – Campus Carry and Public Buildings:

   – Arkansas passes laws allowing concealed carry on college campuses and in certain public buildings, sparking debates on campus safety and potential risks.

2016 – “Enhanced” Concealed Carry Permits:

   – Legislation is introduced to create an “enhanced” concealed carry permit option, requiring additional training and allowing carry in more locations.

2017 – Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine:

   – Arkansas enacts a “Stand Your Ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without a duty to retreat, and reinforces the Castle Doctrine for home defense.

2018 – Restrictions on Domestic Violence Offenders:

   – Legislation is passed to prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses from owning firearms, in alignment with federal laws.

2019 – Gun-Free Zones and Concealed Carry:

   – Arkansas revises laws regarding concealed carry in gun-free zones, leading to discussions on ensuring the safety of sensitive locations.

2020 – Background Checks for Private Sales:

   – Proposed legislation aims to require background checks for all firearm sales, including private transactions, raising debates on balancing privacy and public safety.

2021 – Firearm Storage Requirements:

   – The state introduces legislation mandating safe firearm storage to prevent unauthorized access by minors and reduce firearm accidents.

2022 – Age Restrictions and Long Gun Purchases:

    – Arkansas considers raising the minimum age for purchasing long guns, sparking conversations about aligning age requirements for different firearm types.

2022 – Ammunition Regulations:

    – Proposed legislation addresses ammunition sales, exploring potential background check requirements for purchasers.

2023 – Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines:

    – Debate emerges over the potential introduction of restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, highlighting differing perspectives on public safety and personal rights.

2023 – Firearm Training for Concealed Carry:

    – Arkansas introduces stricter training requirements for concealed carry permits, emphasizing responsible gun ownership and proper firearm handling.

2023 – Firearm Access for Individuals with Mental Health Issues:

    – Proposed legislation aims to address firearm access for individuals with mental health issues, sparking discussions on balancing individual rights and community safety.

Arkansas’s gun laws have evolved significantly in the past decade, reflecting the ongoing efforts to navigate the intricate balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety concerns. From background checks and concealed carry regulations to debates about age restrictions and firearm storage, these changes demonstrate the state’s responsiveness to changing times. As Arkansas continues to shape its gun laws, it is crucial for stakeholders, policymakers, and citizens to engage in informed discussions to find a balanced approach that best serves the interests of its residents while safeguarding the well-being of the community.

Arkansas gun laws do not necessitate the registering of any shotgun, rifle, or handgun. However, machine guns are required to be registered under Federal law, as well as with the Secretary of State. Arkansas gun law defines a machine gun as a weapon that can discharge five shots automatically or semi-automatically by a single action on the triggering mechanism.

Arkansas gun law does not require a state permit for the purpose of purchase or possession of a firearm. An individual may be eligible to purchase firearms as long as he/she is at least 18 years. Minors must have expressed consent by a parent or legal guardian responsible for their well being to purchase a firearm.

In terms of possession, Arkansas law has more rules and regulations. It is considered unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony crime, been deemed as mentally unfit by law, or has been committed to a mental institution involuntarily to be in possession of a firearm.

It is also been deemed that any handgun possessed by a person physically on him or herself, or in a vehicle occupied by that person, that can be easily used as a weapon to inflict harm against another person, as unlawful. However, they are some exceptions:

If the person is on his own private property, or place of business where he has a vested interest in.

The person is affiliated with law enforcement or the military. This also extends to any person who may be requested to assist in a particular situation by a law enforcement or military official during his/her duty. This also includes security officers and prison guards.

 The person is transporting the firearm. This includes traveling to and from hunting activities, sporting activities, and educational firearm-related courses and classes.

If the person is a minor that possesses an unloaded firearm, and is under the supervision of a parent, legal guardian, or qualified firearm instructor.

Arkansas gun laws allow for the carrying of a concealed handgun, only with a license or permit. The application for the license is made directly to the state police. The license is valid for a total of fours years, and may include up to three handguns. The license to carry a concealed handgun must be presented with another form of valid identification in order to be considered within the constraints of the law.

Qualified individuals for the license must be at least 21 years old, a resident of the state of Arkansas for over a year, never been convicted of a felony or violent act, never attempted or threatened to commit suicide, and never been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a program because of alcohol, domestic violence, or drug substance abuse. The statute involving drugs and alcohol is also more specific. In relation to a controlled substance, an applicant must not have been found guilty of a crime or submitted in to a program in the past three years.

With alcohol, it involves no more than two crimes in the past three years. Even though licensed carriers of handguns are legal by law, they are restricted as well. They can not enter public places such as police and law enforcement facilities and buildings, schools or colleges, or any place of business that sells alcohol for consumption on its premises–except for restaurants.