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Arkansas Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything you need to know about owning a firearm in the state of Arkansas

Arkansas State Seal

Arkansas Reciprocity Map

Last Updated: 2021

Arkansas Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview

3M

STATE POPULATION

217K

LICENSES ISSUED

7.20%

LICENSE PERCENTAGE

50

STATES HONORED

21

MINIMUM AGE TO CC

5

YEARS LICENSE VALID

37

RECIPROCATING STATES

YES

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY

3

CC CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS

Arkansas residents looking to obtain their concealed carry license can begin by learning more about the gun rights and state laws that apply to them. The state is home to more than 3 million people and has distributed around 217,000 concealed carry licenses, which means roughly 7.19% of the population is licensed for Arkansas concealed carry.

Understanding how your Arkansas gun rights translate across state lines is called reciprocity. Arkansas has reciprocity agreements with 37 states and honors licenses or permits from every other state. A concealed carry permit in Arkansas is valid for five years, and residents 21 and older are eligible.

You need an education partner you can trust to get your Arkansas concealed carry license. Concealed Coalition has trained over a million U.S. citizens on how to carry their weapons safely and effectively. Contact us to find online or local training to get your concealed carry license.

Arkansas Concealed Carry Gun Laws

Summary of Arkansas Gun Laws

Your Arkansas Gun Rights

Arkansas is both a permitless carry and a shall-issue state. Shall-issue states must award firearms licenses to any applicant who meets the necessary criteria for firearms ownership.

The ASP is responsible for granting concealed carry licenses. Handguns bought from private individuals don’t require background checks, licensing, or firearms registration.

Keeping current with your gun rights is very important for Arkansas concealed carry, as the state can update the rules at any time. Arkansas residents should always contact their Department of Public Safety (DPS) or the Arkansas State Police (ASP) for the latest firearms and concealed carry information. Here are some fundamental laws:

Open Carry in Arkansas

Arkansas’ stance as a permitless-carry state means anyone 18 years or older can open carry without a license.

Concealed Carry in Arkansas

An Arkansas concealed carry license can come in one of two forms: a Concealed Handgun Carry License (CHCL) or an enhanced version of the same (E-CHCL).  The latter requires further training and allows holders to concealed carry in locations prohibited under the CHCL.

Applicants for either license must complete a state-approved firearms course and be 21 years old (general public) or 18 (for National Guard and military).

Visitors to Arkansas who have a concealed carry license from another state can concealed carry. Nonresidents can’t get an Arkansas concealed carry license unless they’re on active military duty in the state (this privilege also applies to their spouses).

Self Defense Laws in Arkansas

Arkansas has clear rules regarding the use of force. Here are the details:

Use of Force

The law permits people to defend themselves or others against use or impending use of illegal force only when under the reasonable belief that force is necessary. It also permits them to defend against criminal trespass onto premises or into a vehicle that the user owns.

You may defend property by force against actual or intended criminal mischief or theft and to detain an aggressor from leaving the scene.

Use of Deadly Force

The law deems it justified when defending against the actuality or potentiality of a forceful or violent felony. There’s no longer any legal duty to retreat before applying deadly force since Arkansas passed a Stand Your Ground law.

People may use deadly force against a trespasser to prevent burglary or arson. Other acceptable uses of deadly force include to protect oneself against such force, while in your dwelling without being the aggressor, or in instances of severe physical harm between family or household members. The full deadly force laws are here.

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

Legal presumption of acceptable use of force is on your side in Arkansas, but this is not a safety net. Contact local law enforcement for advice if you’re in any doubt about use-of-force scenarios.

Firearms training is another way to develop sound situational judgment and boost your legal awareness. Concealed Coalition has trained residents nationwide to become responsible, certified gun owners. Classes are available locally and online.

Arkansas Gun Laws by Statute

Concealed Coalition is dedicated to dispelling the myths surrounding gun ownership and promoting a culture of understanding, responsibility, and confidence. Our certified instructors are qualified across multiple states, and our online or local training classes provide convenient learning environments run by instructors who care.

Contact us today at (501) 203-9282 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs..

Quick Links

An Arkansas Concealed Carry Firearms Safety Course

CONCEALED CARRY BASICS IN ARKANSAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Does Arkansas recognize constitutional carry?

Yes.

Is open carry permitted in Arkansas?

Yes, without a permit.

If Arkansas requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

Arkansas is a shall-issue state.

What is the minimum age in Arkansas to get a concealed carry license?

21 years old.

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Arkansas with a concealed carry license (or under permit-less carry if applicable)?

No.

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Arkansas?

Yes, if you’re 19 years or older.

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Arkansas?

Only if the canister doesn’t exceed 150cc.

Does Arkansas have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Does Arkansas have ammunition restrictions?

No.

CONCEALED CARRY LOCATIONS IN ARKANSAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Where can't I carry a concealed firearm in Arkansas?

Arkansas state law prohibits concealed carry in:

  • Areas prohibited by state regulation or law, or by federal law
  • On private property and in private residences, if forbidden by the owners
  • Educational facilities from pre-kindergarten up to university level and in any buildings or at any events associated with them
  • School bus stops and buses
  • Demonstrations or parades requiring a permit
  • Athletic events
  • State offices
  • Passenger terminals of airports when the firearm isn’t properly enclosed for lawful transport
  • Meetings of governing bodies or general assemblies
  • Any location reserved for court proceedings unless permitted as an employee
  • Youth service facilities
  • Jails, prisons, or detention facilities
  • Any law enforcement buildings and their surrounding grounds

It’s recommended to call ahead to ask about the firearms policy of any intended destination.

Where can I carry a concealed firearm in Arkansas?

CHCL holders may concealed carry in places of worship (with permission), roadside rest areas, and restaurant areas, with other permitted locations covered later in this FAQ. E-CHCL holders have extended permissions to concealed carry in:

  • Areas licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • Inside the passenger terminal of an airport, but not in secured areas
  • Meeting places of governing bodies of any governmental entity
  • Meeting places of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • State offices
  • Athletic events that aren’t related to firearms
  • Demonstrations and parades
  • The buildings and grounds of a public university, college, or community college
  • Publicly owned facilities and buildings
  • The State Capitol and grounds

It’s recommended to call ahead to make sure concealed carry is permitted at your destination.

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Arkansas?

This is permitted when driving through non-prohibited areas, provided the weapon is concealed.

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Arkansas?

Yes.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forest and Wildlife Management Areas in Arkansas?

Yes, except in any buildings containing a state office.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Arkansas?

Only in restaurant areas of any business serving alcohol. Bar areas are prohibited. Restaurant owners may also prohibit concealed carry if they wish.

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Arkansas?

Hotels can set their own firearms policy rules. Call ahead to clarify their position in advance.

Does Arkansas have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

This was once allowed but is no longer permitted.

IMPORTANT GUNS LAWS IN ARKANSAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Do you have a duty to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Arkansas?

Arkansas concealed carriers must immediately inform an officer of their firearm status whenever stopped.

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.

Does Arkansas have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e., Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. Local municipalities can regulate the unsafe discharge of any firearm.

Does Arkansas have a red flag law?

No.

Does Arkansas state law define brandishing?

No, but disorderly conduct includes irresponsible firearms behavior.

Does Arkansas have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?

This is not directly addressed under state law.

Does Arkansas issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

Not unless they’re military or a military spouse stationed in the state.

Does Arkansas allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

HANDGUN PURCHASE & POSSESSION IN ARKANSAS

QUESTION

ANSWER

Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Arkansas?

No.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Arkansas?

No.

Does my current Arkansas concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase firearm? 

Yes.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Arkansas?

No.

Do handguns need to be registered in Arkansas?

No.

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Arkansas?

18 years old.

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home in Arkansas without a license? 

Yes.

ARKANSAS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE INFORMATION

Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Arkansas

An applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Be at least 21 years of age or 18 years of age if a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, honorably discharged or National Guard
  • Have been a resident of Arkansas for the last 90 days, or be an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces (or the spouse) who submits documentation of his or her active duty status
  • Not suffer from a mental or physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a handgun and not have threatened or attempted suicide
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, without having been pardoned and had firearms possession rights restored, or have had the record sealed or expunged for a sentence prior to March 13, 1995, or have had an offense which was dismissed and sealed or expunged under § 16-93-301 et seq. or § 16-98-303(g)
  • Not be subject to any federal, state or local law which makes it unlawful to receive, possess or transport any firearm, and have had his or her background check successfully completed through the Department of Arkansas State Police and the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System
  • Not chronically or habitually abuse controlled substances or alcoholic beverage to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired (further detailed in §§ 5-73-309(7)(B) and (8)(B)
  • Have read the Arkansas concealed carry law
  • Not have been adjudicated mentally incompetent
  • Not have been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility (veterans who have voluntarily sought mental health treatment at a mental health institution or mental health treatment facility may obtain a license under this subchapter if a circuit court grants his or her petition under § 5-73-327)
  • Not be a fugitive from justice or does not have an active warrant for his or her arrest
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class
  • Not have been convicted of the offense of carrying a weapon within the last 5 years 
  • Sign a statement of allegiance to the United States and Arkansas Constitutions

Fees:

New license costs for anyone age 64 or younger

  • Online applications $91.90
  • Paper applications $88.25

As of July 28, 2021, veterans and active-duty military no longer have to pay new or renewal license fees.

New license costs for anyone age 66 or older

  • Online applications $66.15
  • Paper applications $63.25

These costs include the online application and background check fee. Applicants are responsible for obtaining a complete, classifiable set of fingerprints and that cost is not included. As of July 28, 2021, veterans and active-duty military no longer have to pay license fees.

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

120 days.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry License:

Yes, but only for members of the military permanently stationed in Arkansas and their spouses. The process is the same as for residents.

Name & Address Changes:

For change of address, name or other information, complete the Change of Address/Name Notification Form and submit it in the mail or by email to the address listed on the form.

Lost or Stolen Licenses:

You can submit a request for a new license online. The form must be notarized before submittal to the Arkansas State Police.

Residency Changes:

If a person with an Arkansas concealed handgun carry license establishes residency in another state, the license expires upon the establishment of residence in the other state.

ARKANSAS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE APPLICATION PROCESS

Step One:

Take the CHCL firearms safety class for a CHCL. If applying for an enhanced CHCL, the enhanced training class is also required.

Step Two:

Apply online or by submitting a paper application within 6 months of finishing your firearms safety class and write your confirmation number/order ID on your training certificate.

Step Three:

Have your fingerprints taken at your local law enforcement agency or by a private fingerprinting business.

Step Four:

Submit your fingerprints, training certificate and fee to the Arkansas State Police at:

Arkansas State Police
CHCL Section
1 State Plaza Drive
Little Rock, AR 72209

Step Five:

You will be notified if your application has been approved.

Enhanced Concealed Handgun Carry License (E-CHCL)

Overview:

The Enhanced CHCL requires approximately 8 hours of additional classroom and gun-range training. The training course includes topics such as Arkansas firearms law, the rights and responsibilities of an Enhanced License holder, what to do in an active shooting, and all locations where the carry of concealed firearms remains prohibited. The applicant must also pass a shooting competency test. E-CHCL holders who complete this training course are given a “concealed carry endorsement” by the State Police on their licenses indicating that they may carry on public college and university campuses, as well as certain other “sensitive places,” including:

  • Publicly owned buildings and facilities
  • State Capitol grounds and the State Capitol building
  • Any meeting place of the governing body of any governmental entity
  • Any meeting place of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly
  • Any state office
  • Athletic events
  • A portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises
  • A portion of an establishment where beer or light wine is consumed on the premises
  • Inside the passenger terminal of an airport
  • Any church or other place of worship
  • Any place where a parade or demonstration requiring a permit is being held, even when the licensee is a participant in the parade or demonstration
  • The buildings and grounds of a public university/college or community college

For holders of valid CHCLs, there is a form to complete and an additional fee of $15 to cover the license replacement.

ARKANSAS CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS

Step One:

Live-fire training must be completed six months before the current concealed carry license expires, and renewal applications are accepted prior to 90 days before expiration. Expired licenses renewed before a six-month lapse incur a $15 fee. More than a six-month lapse requires a new application.

Step Two:

Licensees can renew online or by post. Online renewals cost $52.50, and late online renewals cost $67.95. Postal renewals cost $50 and must be mailed to:

Arkansas State Police
ATTN: CHCL Section
1 State Police Plaza Drive
Little Rock, AR 72209

The mail-in option requires submitting a firearms training certificate no older than six months and the proper application form. E-CHCL renewals should use this form.

Step Three:

You will be notified if your application has been approved.

Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement Officers and Retired LEOs

The federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) allows both active and retired law enforcement officers (LEOs) to concealed carry anywhere in the U.S. with some restrictions.

Arkansas’ LEOSA equivalent details how law enforcement officers (active and retired) and other law enforcement officials may concealed carry. LEOs are trained by the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) to maintain state standards of firearm proficiency necessary for concealed carry.

RLEOs must train annually under a CLEST instructor when certifying or recertifying for concealed carry. RLEOs must be retired in good standing from their previous law enforcement department for reasons other than mental instability. Other RLEO concealed carry requirements are:

  • An minimum of 10 years’ service before retiring
  • Written photo ID issued by law enforcement proving the RLEO’s status
  • Filed fingerprints and written authorization for state- and national-level criminal record screening
  • Not being under the influence of or consuming alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance

RLEOs with any doubts about their qualifications for concealed carry should contact their previously served law enforcement department.

Firearms Training & Competency

Arkansas provides a clear route to gaining the firearm skills necessary for concealed carry. There are also other ways to gain further valuable training to make you a safer, more confident gun owner. 

The certified instructors at Concealed Coalition will teach you the applicable laws for your state and how to carry and fire a firearm safely. Contact us to sign up or ask any questions.

NRA Training

The NRA offers firearms training at many locations. Use the local training locator to find lessons near you.

Hunter Safety Courses

Arkansas’ Game and Fish Commission offers instructor-led and online hunter education classes. The 10-hour instructor-led classes are free, while the online courses are $19.95.

Firearms Safety Courses From Other Providers

Public and private institutions, individuals, colleges, or law enforcement agencies sometimes provide firearms training. Check Arkansas’ qualified instructor registry to ensure you receive valid training if you plan to use such classes toward your concealed carry license.

A Firearms Training Course With a State-Certified Instructor

Concealed Coalition offers firearm training to help you gain valuable skills toward securing a concealed carry license. Our highly trained instructors provide actionable lessons based on their extensive practical experience to ensure you gain tested and reliable skills.

DD Form 214 or Military Orders for Active or Former Military Members

Arkansas Code §5-73-327 (page 19) details how veterans can qualify for a concealed carry license but doesn’t mention the DD 214. The state does require veterans to have served more than 180 days of active duty, which is twice the amount necessary for an honorable discharge under a DD 214.

Qualified Arkansas Handgun Instructors

Arkansas provides a qualified instructor list to be sure you’re receiving state-approved firearms training.

Get Certified for a Arkansas Concealed Carry Permit Today

Our network of firearms professionals are holding training classes and in-person certification courses throughout Arkansas. Use our certification locator to enroll in an upcoming firearms training course near you today, or visit our Arkansas concealed carry permitting resource for online certification.

Get Certified Today