Arkansas Gun Laws: What You Should Know


As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it can be to stay up to date on ever-changing gun laws…

Arkansas gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Arkansas gun laws. (Not from Arkansas? Find more state gun laws over in Legal & Second Amendment!)

What Does Open Carry Mean in Arkansas?

It is now clear that permitless open carry is legal without a permit in Arkansas. 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.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in My Car in Arkansas Without a Concealed Weapon Permit?

No, only with a valid permit. As noted above, the Arkansas Appeals Court stated in 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 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 need to be unloaded and cased.

Is Arkansas a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State?

No, Arkansas does not have a “stand your ground” law. There is a duty to retreat before force can be used in self-defense. However, 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 the defender feels that he or she is about to be severely harmed or killed. It may also be used if the individual believes a felony is about to be committed.

Can I Own a Gun If I Have a Medical Card in Arkansas?

Federal law prohibits all marijuana users from possessing or buying firearms and ammunition — even if state law allows the drug’s use. An individual can’t have both licenses. Under federal law, any marijuana user is an unlawful user of a controlled substance. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld this rule. Marijuana in any form is illegal under federal law. Users of marijuana are prohibited persons. Checking “no” on Question 11(e) on Form 4473 would be a lie (and a felony) if you use marijuana.

Do You Have to Register Your Gun in Arkansas?

No. Arkansas does not require the registration of firearms. In addition, no permit is required to purchase a handgun. A background check is required to be completed by a federally licensed firearms dealer for anyone who doesn’t have an Arkansas Firearm Permit.

Can You Carry a Gun in Arkansas State Parks?

Yes, you can carry a handgun in Arkansas state parks, but not in any building where a state office is located.

How Much Is a Concealed Carry Permit in Arkansas?

The initial permit fee structure in Arkansas is complex, with different costs for online and mail-in applications based on age. Online new licenses are $143.40 for anyone age 64 or younger and $91.90 for those 65 or older. These costs include the online application and background check fee. Applicants are responsible for obtaining a complete, classifiable set of fingerprints. That cost is not included.

*Note: Per Act 61, the initial fee will be reduced to $50 plus online application and background check fee. Renewals will be reduced to $25 for renewals and for applicants over 65 years of age.

Ready to Learn More About Arkansas Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Arkansas’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Arkansas gun laws page now… 

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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