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Arkansas Gun Control Laws

Guns are a hot-button issue in this country and state gun control laws reflect the vast difference in attitudes toward gun ownership from one region to the next. Many states require a waiting period and have several restrictions on the carrying of handguns, while other states are much more permissive.

The Basics of Arkansas Gun Control Laws

Arkansas law prohibits the same types of weapons that are banned in most other states, such as explosive devices, sawed-off shotguns, and fully automatic assault rifles. Other than that, Arkansas has very few controls on gun ownership. There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm (including handguns), and the state does not require a permit to buy handguns.

Additional details of Arkansas's gun control laws are listed below.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Illegal Arms

The following arms are illegal to own in Arkansas:

  • Bombs or other explosive devices
  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns or rifles
  • Firearms specially made or adapted for silent discharge
  • Metal ("brass") knuckles
  • Removing or altering serial marks or ID numbers on firearms

Waiting Period

There is no waiting period to purchase a firearm in Arkansas.

Who May Not Own

The following persons are prohibited from owning a firearm:

  • People with a felony conviction (unless restored by the governor upon recommendation by the chief law enforcement officer in the applicant's jurisdiction, as long as the weapon was not used in the commission of the felony)
  • People that are adjudicated mentally ill (unless the case was dismissed and expunged)
  • People who are committed involuntarily to any mental institution

License Required?

You don't need a license to purchase or own a gun in Arkansas.

Concealed Carry License Required?

A concealed carry license is not required if you are over 18 and are "on a journey beyond the county" in which you live. A concealed weapons license is otherwise required but available to citizens over 21 who have been residents of Arkansas for at least 90 days and are not otherwise ineligible.

Open Carried Allowed?

Open carry is allowed in Arkansas unless there is an unlawful intent to use the firearm against a person.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

To be eligible for a concealed carry you must:
  • Be 21 years or older
  • Be a United States citizen or a permanent resident
  • Reside in Arkansas continuously
  • Not be convicted of a felony unless you are pardoned or had your records expunged
  • Not suffer from an infirmity that prevents you from safely handling a firearm
  • Not be committed to a treatment facility for a controlled substance or alcohol abuse or found guilty of an offense under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act within the last 3 years
  • Not be adjudicated to be mentally incompetent
  • Complete the firearm training course
  • Not be a fugitive from justice

*Your application for a concealed carry may be denied if you have been found guilty of a misdemeanor crime of violence within the past 5 years.

Arkansas accepts all out-of-state concealed carry licenses.

Machine Gun Laws

  • Possession of a machine gun is prohibited if it is used for "offensive or aggressive purpose."
  • It must also be registered in compliance with federal law.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possession of a machine gun for offensive or aggressive purposes is a class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
  • Possession of a firearm with a violent felony conviction is a class B felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
  • Possession of a firearm with a nonviolent felony conviction is a class D felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison.
  • Possession of a defaced firearm is a class D felony that carries with it up to 6 years in prison. If the serial number is merely covered but still retrievable, then it is a class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 1 year in prison.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

It is a class D felony to illegally possess a firearm on or near school grounds.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Arkansas Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Facing a Firearms Violation in Arkansas?

Firearms violations are serious charges and require the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A defense lawyer may also be able to help you understand Arkansas' gun ownership laws.

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