FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Arkansas Gun Laws

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Introduction

A unique aspect of Arkansas concealed carry law is that the Arkansas State Police maintain a fairly comprehensive list of places carry is accepted with a CCP. In most states, assembling this information, if it can be readily obtained, is a tedious job.  Arkansas is a constitutional carry state, meaning that anyone legally allowed to possess a handgun may carry it open or concealed without a license.

Arkansas population is just under 3,000,000. Arkansas shares its southern border with Louisiana, and its northern border with Missouri. To the east it borders with Tennessee and Mississippi.  Its western borders are with Texas and Oklahoma.

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Arkansas Constitution states:

“The citizens of this state shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.”

[http://gunla.ws/ar1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Arkansas preemption statutes is set forth as follows:

“(a) As used in this section, ‘local unit of government’ means a city, town, or county.

(b)(1)(A) A local unit of government shall not enact any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any manner, the ownership, transfer, transportation, carrying, or possession of firearms, ammunition for firearms, or components for firearms, except as otherwise provided in state or federal law.  (B) This shall not prevent the enactment of an ordinance regulating or forbidding the unsafe discharge of a firearm.”

[http://gunla.ws/ar2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Arkansas will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Arkansas license:

“(a) Any person in possession of a valid license issued by another state to carry a concealed handgun issued to the person by another state is entitled to the privileges and subject to the restrictions prescribed by this subchapter if the state that issued the license to carry a concealed handgun recognizes a license to carry a concealed handgun issued under this subchapter.

(b) The Director of the Department of Arkansas State Police shall: (1) Make a determination as to which states’ licenses to carry concealed handguns will be recognized in Arkansas and provide that list to every law enforcement agency within the state; and (2) Revise the list from time to time and provide the revised list to every law enforcement agency in this state.”

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Arkansas and some are not.  Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Arkansas State Police at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur. States add and delete states with reciprocity agreements over time. Arkansas’s most current reciprocity information may be referenced by this hyperlink  [http://gunla.ws/ah8a].

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D. Duty to Inform Officers

Yes. If You are in possession of a handgun, when a LEO asks for identification You must also notify the LEO that You have a CCP and that You have a handgun in Your possession. [http://gunla.ws/75t3]

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E. NFA Items

Arkansas permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal. MGs may not have ammunition .30 inches (7.63 mm) or larger unless the gun is registered to an ammunition corporation. CLEOs are required to sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.  [http://gunla.ws/nb7m] & [http://gunla.ws/ucks]

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F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Arkansas forbids the carrying of a handgun in Your vehicle unless You have a valid permit to carry, are on Your own property, are a licensed security guard acting in the course of Your duties, You are driving to or from a hunting area with the intent of hunting with a handgun, or You are a prosecuting attorney with valid authorization. [http://gunla.ws/ar3]

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G. Self-defense Laws

Arkansas has a Castle Doctrine law but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when attacked in Your home or curtilage, but there is a duty to retreat in all other places. You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or SBI, a forcible felony, or an act as part of pattern of domestic abuse that is imminently endangering Your life or about to victimize You. [http://gunla.ws/ar4]

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H. Constitutional Carry

As of 8/16/13, Arkansas permits anyone who is at least 21 years old and not prohibited from owning a firearm to carry a handgun without a permit, openly or concealed. However, Arkansans must obtain a concealed carry permit for purposes of reciprocal carry. [http://gunla.ws/ar5]

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I. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

Yes. If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, you are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass. [http://gunla.ws/1f88]

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J. Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes, You may carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless posted with “No Gun Signs.” This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You are prohibited from carrying while you consume alcohol or are under the influence of alcohol. [http://gunla.ws/widm]

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K. Criminal Provisions

Under Arkansas law, a license to carry a handgun does not permit the licensee to carry in any of the following places or circumstances, no matter if it was issued by Arkansas or a state with a current reciprocity agreement with Arkansas:

  • Any police station, sheriff’s station, or Department of Arkansas State Police Station
  • Any Arkansas Highway Police Division of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department facility
  • Any building of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation or onto grounds adjacent to any building of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.  However, this does not extend to rest areas or weight stations of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
  • Any detention facility, prison, or jail
  • Any courthouse or courtroom
  • Any polling place (unless You have 8 hours of handgun training and an enhanced permit)
  • Any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity
  • A meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • Any state office (unless You have 8 hours of handgun training and an enhanced permit)
  • Any athletic event (unless You have 8 hours of handgun training and an enhanced permit)
  • Any portion of an establishment, except restaurants, licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • Any school, college, or university campus building or event, unless for the purpose of participating in an authorized firearms-related activity (except at state colleges and You have 8 hours of handgun training and an enhanced permit)
  •  Inside the passenger terminal of any airport, except that no person is prohibited from carrying any legal firearm into the passenger terminal if the firearm is encased for shipment for purposes of checking the firearm as baggage to be lawfully transported on any aircraft
  • Any church or other place of worship
  • Any place where a parade or demonstration requiring a permit is being held, and the licensee is a participant in the parade or demonstration
  • There is no duty to retreat when attacked in Your home or residence, and You may use deadly force in self-defense if You reasonably fear You are in danger of death of serious bodily injury.
  • Any licensee entering a private home must notify the occupant that the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun

In addition, as with all other states, there may be other sources of law impacting reciprocal carry that should be considered as a part of the research, and where CCPs are commonly not accepted for carry, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Military bases
  • Native American reservations
  • Correctional facilities/courts
  • Federal buildings
  • Local government limitations
  • National parks and wildlife refuges
  • State hunting rules and regulations

For a list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/ar6]

Note: Arkansas recently passed Act 562 which expands their concealed carry law to allow those with an enhanced permit and eight hours of handgun training to carry a concealed handgun at state colleges, airports, polling places, athletic events, most state offices and the state Capitol. [http://gunla.ws/uame]

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L. Open Carry

A recent Arkansas AG’s Opinion addresses open carry and states that if a person does not have the intent to “attempt to unlawfully employ a handgun . . . as a weapon against [another],” he or she may “possess a handgun . . . on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use” without violating Ark. Code § 5-73-120(a). However, this is still subject to the specified restrictions in the “Criminal Provisions” above.

To view the Arkansas AG’s Opinion, see: [http://gunla.ws/7gsi]

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More