Arkansas is a shall-issue, constitutional carry state with concealed weapons permits being issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety.
There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.
It is now clear that permitless open carry is legal without a permit in Arkansas for any person who is at least 18 years old and who can legally possess a firearm. As of October 17, 2018, the Arkansas Appeals Court stated in case CR-18-353 Jamie Taff v. State of Arkansas, “Under the clear language of § 5-73-120(a), the possessor of a handgun must have an unlawful intent to employ it as a weapon against a person in order to make that possession a criminal act.” The minimum age to open carry is 18 years old. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and bars.
Concealed carry is legal without a license for anyone that is over 18 who can legally possess a firearm and on “a journey beyond the county in which the person lives.” Concealed Handgun Carry Licenses (CHCL) are issued to residents at least 21 years of age only and require a firearms training course that has been state-approved. Enhanced concealed carry permits allow for carrying in some forbidden areas such as public colleges, most public buildings, non-secure locations in airports, churches and more. Although Arkansas doesn’t issue non-resident licenses, active-duty military and their spouses may apply for an Arkansas CHCL. In terms of reciprocity, since Arkansas has permitless carry, anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry a concealed firearm on his or her person without a license or permit.
The Castle Doctrine in Arkansas allows the use of deadly force to defend one’s self, one’s home and others on the property if he or she feels that he or she is about to be severely harmed or killed. It may also be used if the person believes a felony is about to be committed. Arkansas does not have a “stand your ground” law, and there is a duty to retreat before force can be used for self-defense.
Arkansas Concealed Carry Gun Laws | USCCA CCW Reciprocity Map (Last Updated 08/29/2019)
Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics
|Constitutional Carry?Does Arkansas allow constitutional carry?||Yes.|
|Open Carry Permitted?Is open carry permitted in Arkansas?||Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry.[Ark. Code § 5-7-120(a)]|
|Gun Permit Licensure?If Arkansas requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?||Shall issue.[Ark. Code § 5-7-111]|
|Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?What is the minimum age in Arkansas to get a concealed carry permit?||21.|
|Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Arkansas with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?||No.|
|Tasers or Stun Guns?Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Arkansas?||Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. The minimum age to purchase is 19 years old.|
|Non-Resident Permitting?Does Arkansas issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?||Yes, but only to members of the military stationed in AR and their spouses.[Ark. Code § 5-7-309]|
|Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?Does Arkansas allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?||No, however the information is available for law enforcement.|
|Carry in Vehicle?Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Arkansas?||Yes. As of October 17, 2018, the Arkansas Appeals Court stated in case CR-18-353 Jamie Taff v. State of Arkansas, “Under the clear language of § 5-73-120(a), the possessor of a handgun must have an unlawful intent to employ it as a weapon against a person in order to make that possession a criminal act.”.In addition, per § 5-73-120(c)(8), it is permissible to carry a weapon under this section if at the time of the act of carrying the weapon the person is in possession of a concealed handgun and has a valid Arkansas license to carry a concealed handgun or a permit from a state Arkansas honors and is not in a prohibited place.Without a permit, firearms would need to be unloaded and cased.[Ark. Code § 5-73-120]|
|Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Arkansas?||Yes.|
|Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Arkansas?||Yes, but not in any building where a state office is located.[Park Directive 3070]|
|Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Arkansas?||Yes, unless posted.[Ark. Code § 14-16-306]|
|Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?Does Arkansas have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?||It is legal for permit holders to store a handgun in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot.[Ark. Code § 5-7-122(a)(3)]A private employer shall not prohibit an employee who is a licensee from transporting or storing a legally owned handgun in the employee’s private motor vehicle in the private employer’s parking lot when the handgun:Is lawfully possessed;Is stored out of sight inside a locked private motor vehicle in the private employer’s parking lot; andUpon exit from the vehicle, it is stored inside a locked personal handgun storage container that is designed for the safe storage of a handgun.Although there are specific exceptions to this law, generally a private employer shall not prohibit an employee who is a licensee from entering the parking lot of the private employer’s place of business because the employee’s private motor vehicle contains a handgun, if the handgun is kept for lawful purposes and is concealed and properly stored within the employee’s private motor vehicle.[Ark. Code § 5-73-326]|
Additional Related State Laws
|Must Notify Officer You’re Carrying?Are you required to notify a police officer that you’re carrying a concealed firearm in Arkansas?||Yes.|
|Magazine Limits for Handguns?Does Arkansas have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?||No.|
|Ammunition Restrictions?Does Arkansas have ammunition restrictions?||No.|
|“No Weapons Allowed” Signs Enforced?Are “No Weapons Allowed” signs enforced in Arkansas? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.||Yes. No license to carry a concealed handgun issued pursuant to this subchapter authorizes any person to carry a concealed handgun into any of the following locations. Any place at the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical location by placing at each entrance to the place a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less than 10 feet that “carrying a handgun is prohibited.” If the place does not have a roadway entrance, there shall be a written notice placed anywhere upon the premises. There shall be at least 1 written notice posted within every 3 acres of a place with no roadway entrance.A written notice is not required for a private home.Any licensee entering a private home shall notify the occupant that the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun.[Ark. Code § 5-73-306(18)]|
|Preemption?Does Arkansas have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?||Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except local municipalities may regulate the unsafe discharge of firearms.[Ark. Code § 14-16-504][Ark. Code Ann. §14-54-1411(b)(1)]|
|Red Flag Law?Does Arkansas have a red flag law?||No.|
|Carry While Using Alcohol or Prescription Medication?Does Arkansas have laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication?||Not addressed in state statutes.As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.|
Handgun Purchase & Possession
|Purchase Permits?Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Arkansas?||No.|
|Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?Are background checks required for private gun sales in Arkansas?||No. It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.|
|Waiting Period?Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Arkansas?||No.|
|Handgun Registration?Do handguns need to be registered in Arkansas?||No.|
|Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Arkansas?||18 years old.(a) A person commits the offense of furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor if he or she sells, barters, leases, gives, rents or otherwise furnishes a firearm or other deadly weapon to a minor without the consent of a parent, guardian or other person responsible for general supervision of the minor’s welfare.[§ 5-73-109]|
Carry While Hunting
|Carry While Gun Hunting?Can you concealed carry while shotgun/rifle hunting in Arkansas?||Yes, provided the handgun otherwise lawfully possessed and is:For personal protection and is not employed for hunting; orA legal killing device under Commission regulations.[Ark. Fish & Game Commission Regs 05.19]|
|Carry While Bow Hunting?Can you concealed carry while bowhunting in Arkansas?||Yes, provided the handgun otherwise lawfully possessed and is:For personal protection and is not employed for hunting; orA legal killing device under Commission regulations.[Ark. Fish & Game Commission Regs 05.19] It is unlawful to have a firearm in one’s immediate possession while hunting bear, deer or turkey with archery tackle.|
(1) Legal firearms when and where a firearms bear or deer season is open.
(2) In compliance with 05.19, above.[Ark. Fish & Game Commission Regs 06.05]