By Saul Roth
Here is an overview of the gun laws in the state of Arkansas. Please note that gun laws can change over time, so it’s essential to consult the most recent and authoritative sources or legal professionals for up-to-date information.
1. Permits to Purchase and Possess Firearms: In Arkansas, a permit is not required to purchase or possess firearms. Individuals who are at least 18 years old can generally possess firearms, including handguns and long guns, without a specific permit.
2. Concealed Carry Permits: Arkansas is a “shall-issue” state for concealed carry permits. This means that if an individual meets the statutory requirements, the state must issue a concealed carry permit. To obtain a concealed carry permit in Arkansas, an applicant must be at least 21 years old, complete a background check, complete a training course, and meet other eligibility criteria. The concealed carry permit allows individuals to carry concealed handguns in public places.
3. Open Carry: Arkansas allows the open carry of firearms without a permit. Individuals who are at least 18 years old and not otherwise prohibited by law can openly carry firearms in public places. However, there are some restrictions on carrying firearms in certain locations, such as government buildings, schools, and private property where firearms are prohibited.
4. Firearm Sales: Private firearm sales between individuals do not require a background check in Arkansas. However, licensed firearm dealers are required to conduct background checks for all firearm sales, including those at gun shows or through online platforms. It is illegal to sell or transfer firearms to individuals who are prohibited by law from owning them, such as convicted felons, individuals with certain restraining orders, and those with a history of domestic violence.
5. Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine Laws: Arkansas has a “Stand Your Ground” law and a “Castle Doctrine” law. The Stand Your Ground law allows individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without a duty to retreat if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, serious bodily harm, or the commission of a violent felony. The Castle Doctrine law extends this principle to self-defense situations within one’s own dwelling or occupied vehicle.
6. Prohibited Persons: Arkansas law prohibits certain individuals from owning or possessing firearms. This includes convicted felons, individuals with domestic violence convictions, individuals subject to certain protection orders, those adjudicated as mentally ill, and individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol.
It’s important to note that this is a general overview of Arkansas’s gun laws, and there may be additional provisions and nuances not covered here. Additionally, it’s crucial to consult the Arkansas state statutes, legal professionals, or relevant law enforcement agencies for the most accurate and up-to-date information on gun laws in the state.