Arkansas Gun Law Quick Facts
Arkansas has a unique set of regulations and laws regarding firearms. One of the most notable of this state's gun laws is that it is a shall-issue and permitless carry state. This means that individuals are allowed to carry a firearm in public without a permit, as long as they meet certain criteria. Additionally, the Department of Public Safety issues concealed weapons licenses at the state level.
Unlike many other states, Arkansas does not require a license, background check, or firearms registration when purchasing a handgun from a private individual. This creates a unique set of challenges and benefits for gun owners in Arkansas.
✅ Yes - Arkansas is a constitutional carry state. This means you can openly carry a firearm if you're over 18 and legally allowed to own one.
Open Carry Permitted?
✅ Yes - as long as you're at least 18 years old and can legally own a firearm (on the federal level) AND you don't demonstrate unlawful intent. There's language in the AR code that just carrying doesn't demonstrate unlawful intent.
Carry In Vehicle?
✅ Yes - you're allowed to carry your weapon openly or concealed in your vehicle (regardless of CCW status) as long as you don't demonstrate unlawful intent.
Carry In State Park?
✅ Yes - however you're not allowed to carry in public buildings on state park lands.
Carry In Restaurants?
✅ ❌ Yes/No - There's a dual meaning to this law. You're allowed to carry into a restaurant that serves food and alcohol if you have a CCW permit. However, you cannot carry into bars that only serve alcohol.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
✅ Yes - if there is a sign in place stating that carrying a firearm is prohibited, then you must respect that sign.
Must Notify Officer?
✅ ❌ Yes/No - If you're enacting permit-less carry then you don't have to announce you're carrying a firearm. However, if you have a concealed carry permit (the CHCL in Arkansas) then you have to respect the duty to inform law which states that you must inform an officer of their firearm when asked. You must also present your CHCL upon being asked also.
States Honoring CCW
* Restricted Reciprocity with Arkansas
States NOT Honoring CCW
Honors These States CCW Permits
Any individual who has a permit to conceal carry in another U.S. state is legally allowed to carry a firearm in Arkansas. During their time in Arkansas, they will be subject to the laws of the county and state.
Reciprocity Agreements In Arkansas
Arkansas: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- All areas of the state – except those listed below
Places Not Allowed
- Any police, sheriff or Arkansas State Police office.
- Arkansas Highway Police facility.
- Detention facility, prison or jail.
- Courthouse or courtroom.
- Any polling place.
- Meeting place of any government entity.
- Meeting place of any session of the Arkansas
- General Assembly or committee of the General Assembly.
- Any athletic event not related to firearms competition in which the license holder is participating.
- Any part or section of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, except a restaurant.
- Any part of section of an establishment in which alcohol is consumed on the premises, except a restaurant.
- Any school, college, community college, or university campus building or school/college event unless the event is for the purpose of participating in an authorized firearms related activity.
- Inside the passenger terminal of any airport, unless the handgun is encased for shipment by lawful transportation.
- Any church or other place of worship.
Any place where a property owner or manager has exercised discretion to prohibit the possession of a firearm.
- Participating in a parade or demonstration for which a permit is required.
- At a private residence without having first advised the occupants that the license holder is carrying a concealed weapon and given the permission to carry the handgun.
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
Arkansas: Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, in 2013 the law changed rather dramatically causing confusion on this point. The Attorney General states that open carry without a permit is allowed legally in his eyes. BUT, it’s important to know this is not law and you can face severe legal penalty so be cautious with open carry.
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, if you don’t have a permit you need to place your unloaded handgun in a case. It’s illegal to put you gun in the glove compartment. The law is confusing on the grounds of what’s considered a “Journey” and the legality of carrying your handgun. It’s best to be cautious of error on the safe side.
Carry In State Parks
Yes, you can carry in forests, state parks, and roadside rest areas.
Carry In Restaurants
Yes/No, this really depends on if the establishment has a “No Gun” sign as to if you can carry in the restaurant. You are not allowed to carry if the establishment only sells alcohol.
Yes, Arkansas is one of the growing number of states allowing Constitutional Carry were you’re not required to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm if you’re 18 or older.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
Yes, “No Weapons” has the force of law in Arkansas. You will face severe legal penalties for not following the signage.
Must Notify Officer
Yes/No, you must notify law enforcement of your possession of a handgun if you’re approached on official business.