Concealed Carry Permits In Arkansas Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are just a few states – like Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska – which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in Arkansas.
Do you know the laws where you live in Arkansas, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in Arkansas you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm. Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are three types of Concealed Carry in States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in Arkansas may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
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The Arkansas state constitution states; “The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms, for their common defense.”
Recently Arkansas enacted a new handgun law; legislation passed by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2013 and signed into law by Gov. Mike Beebe will allow anyone to openly carry a firearm in a county other than their own. The group says Arkansas will become the fifth state to enact what is known as; "Constitutional Carry". The new law, Act 746, which updated the weapons laws, does not require a permit or training. Beginning July 1, 2013 Arkansas citizens will be able to carry a handgun openly almost anywhere in the state with some restricted areas.
We highly suggest that citizens of Arkansas consult a lawyer before carrying a handgun in public after the act takes effect. Being a new law, Act 746 is untested by the state or county level courts, and law enforcement officials are not completely aware of the implications as it pertains to the carrying of handguns. There is a real possibility that different county prosecutors may construe the law differently.
In response to the newly enacted law Arkansas’ two largest university systems voted to ban faculty and staff from carrying concealed handguns on campus, joining a growing number of schools in the state opting out of a new law allowing firearms on campus. The University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University system boards voted unanimously to opt out of the new law that leaves the decision on concealed carry weapons up to the individual colleges and universities. Arkansas Tech University’s board also voted to keep the concealed weapons off its campuses in Russellville and Ozark.
At least nine other schools around the state have voted to opt out of the guns on campus law.
Arkansas is a "shall issue" state for the concealed carry of firearms. Applicants must pass a background check and complete a training course to receive a new or renewal concealed carry license. An existing license is suspended or revoked if the license holder is arrested for a felony or for any violent act, becomes ineligible due to mental health treatment, or for a number of other reasons. Concealed Carried firearms (handguns) may not be carried at a courthouse, meeting place of any government entity, athletic event, tavern, or in a number of other specific places.
US Precision Defense keeps a complete and up to date database of all states gun related laws which we make available to all of our members.
Arkansas continues in 2013 to make solid improvements to the states Right to keep and bear arms. The Regular Session of the state legislature actions proves to be one of the most productive for pro-Second Amendment legislative reforms in recent memory.
Arkansas citizens can now carry a concealed gun into a bar, or a liquor store, or a church. College staffers can bring guns on campus. Citizens with a CCW permit from other states can carry concealed in Arkansas without filing any paperwork. These are among the half-dozen legal changes in the state that passed only four months since the Newtown massacre, and Arkansas has plenty of company. While the Senate failed to pull the trigger on expanded background checks, 15 other states have already passed 25 different gun rights measures so far this year, and more are pending in even other states.
According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 15 states have enacted some 31 laws regarding guns so far in 2013. Of them, more than 80 percent increase gun rights by, among other things, allowing owners to carry their guns in more places and making it easier for applicants to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Even more states are expanding their reciprocity agreements, Arkansas being one of those states.
This is truly bizarre. The Democratic Party, which pushed hard for so-called universal background checks last winter, has reversed their position in Arkansas. After all, the pro-gun control camp again failed miserably, and the president wasted the most precious moments of his second term on this bad piece of legislation. Did the Democrats learn their lesson? No. Yet, are you surprised? No. If anything, Democrats are now doubling down on both pro-gun control and pro-gun rights positions, which only highlights the fact that liberals have no spine.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, launched an ad campaign criticizing Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) for his vote against expanding background checks for gun purchases. In response Pryor stated; “The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I oppose President Obama’s gun control legislation. Nothing in the Obama plan would have prevented tragedies like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson or even Jonesboro. I’m committed to finding real solutions to gun violence while protecting our Second Amendment rights. I’m Mark Pryor, and I approved this message because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do. I listen to Arkansas.”
A Democrat that put’s his states wishes above party lines, Congratulations to Arkansas State Senator Mark Pryor.
To keep up on Arkansas gun laws visit our reciprocity maps on our home page of US Precision Defense.