Arkansas Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training
Is Arkansas An Open Carry State?
There has been considerable confusion regarding the legality of open carry in the state of Arkansas. In 2013, amendments were made to the law concerning the open carry of firearms, leading to this confusion. However, the Attorney General’s opinion on the matter is that open carry is legal even without securing any permit as long as the individual is of legal age.
Court Ruling on Open Carry
On October 17, 2018, the Arkansas Appeals Court clarified that open carrying would only be considered a punishable crime if the person carrying the firearm has the intent to use it unlawfully against another person. This ruling was made in the case of CR-18-53, Jamie Taff v. The State of Arkansas.
Exemptions to the Law
The ruling in Jamie Taff v. The State of Arkansas does not apply if the person carrying the gun falls into any of the following categories:
- Aiding a local law enforcement officer or any correctional officer who is carrying out their official duty to protect and serve the citizens.
- In any property that they have possessory or proprietary interest, including their place of dwelling and business address (excluding vehicles used for business purposes, e.g., taxis).
- Engaging in any activity related to hunting game as long as it is within the rules set by the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission, which includes traveling to and from the hunting area.
- Carrying a firearm while traveling, excluding flying through a commercial airport security checkpoint or inside the person’s luggage if it isn’t lawfully declared.
Age Restriction for Open Carry Law in Arkansas
Arkansas state law differs from federal law, which requires an individual to be at least 21 years old to carry a firearm. In Arkansas, it is legal for anyone who is at least 18 years old to carry firearms without permission. However, there are restrictions and prohibitions associated with this law.
Anyone who supplies firearms to someone under the age of 18 will be criminally liable unless the furnishing is done with the consent of a parent, guardian, or individual responsible for the minor. Supplying firearms to minors can result in Class A misdemeanor charges and escalate to Class B felony charges if the firearm is a handgun or any other firearm specified by law.
Who Can Have Guns in Arkansas?
Federal law prohibits individuals with a history of felony charges, domestic abusers, and those suffering from mental illnesses from legally carrying a firearm. The state of Arkansas has incorporated some of these prohibitions into its state laws.
It is illegal for an individual to carry guns in public if:
- They have felony charges, even if the defendant is on probation or the sentence is under suspension.
- They had an involuntary admission to a mental facility.
- A court has ruled them mentally ill.
- An individual awaiting adjudication on a felony case has entered a guilty plea.
Where Is It Legal to Open Carry in Arkansas?
Arkansas allows open carry in several places, including:
- State-owned public parks.
- State-owned forests.
- Anywhere that is not explicitly prohibited.
However, there are places where carrying a firearm is not allowed, including:
- Public K-12 schools.
- Athletic events and venues of the University of Arkansas.
- Law enforcement agency offices.
- Areas belonging to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.
- Correctional facilities.
- Courthouses and courtrooms.
- Government meeting places.
- Airports past security checkpoints.
- Churches and places of worship, unless permission is granted.
- Private property where the owner does not permit firearms.
Arkansas Open Carry Law on Purchase and Possession of Guns
Arkansas has lenient laws concerning firearm dealers. Unlike federal law, gun dealers in Arkansas are not required to obtain permits or licenses from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to sell guns. They are also not obligated to maintain records or report firearm sales. Waiting periods for firearm purchases are not implemented in the state, and individuals do not need a permit to purchase firearms. Gun registration is also not required by state law.
Other Gun-Carrying Laws in Arkansas
Arkansas does not have specific laws governing the use of assault weapons, large capacity magazines, or 50 caliber rifles. However, they do have laws concerning the possession and use of machine guns. Possession or use of a machine gun for offensive or aggressive purposes can result in a sentence of 10 years or more in state prison. Gun trafficking is also illegal in Arkansas, and it is prohibited to transfer or give a firearm to someone with a felony conviction.
Open carry is legal in Arkansas as long as individuals follow specific prohibitions and adhere to other laws related to firearm possession and carrying. Understanding these laws is crucial for responsible gun ownership in the state.
1. Can anyone open carry in Arkansas? Yes, open carry is legal in Arkansas as long as the person is of legal age and follows the specific prohibitions outlined in the law.
2. What are the age restrictions for open carry in Arkansas? Unlike federal law, which requires individuals to be at least 21, Arkansas state law allows anyone over 18 to open carry.
3. Are there places where open carry is not allowed in Arkansas? Yes, there are specific places where carrying a firearm is prohibited, including schools, government buildings, and certain private properties.
4. Are there any exemptions to the open carry law? Yes, individuals engaged in certain activities such as aiding law enforcement, hunting, or traveling are exempt from some open carry restrictions.
5. Do firearm dealers in Arkansas require permits and licenses to sell guns? No, unlike federal law, Arkansas state law does not require firearm dealers to obtain permits or licenses to sell guns.