Arkansas does not allow a handgun to be carried on or about the person, openly or concealed, if it is “readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ [it] as a weapon against a person.”1 The statute does not apply if, at the time of the act of carrying a handgun, the person is:

  • In his or her own dwelling, place of business (excluding a “vehicular business” such as a taxi cab or other motor vehicle used for commercial purposes;2) or on property in which he or she has a possessory or proprietary interest;
  • Assisting a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or member of the armed forces acting in the course and scope of official duties pursuant to [their] direction or request;
  • Carrying a weapon when upon a journey;3. However, a firearm may not be carried through a commercial airport at the security checkpoint or in the person’s checked baggage if it is not a lawfully declared weapon.4
  • Hunting game with a handgun under rules and regulations of the Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission, or is en route to or from a hunting area for the purpose of hunting game with a handgun;
  • In a motor vehicle and the holder of a valid license to carry a concealed weapon.5

See our Open Carrying policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(a). See also Ark. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2015-064 (Aug. 28, 2015)(interpreting § 5-73-120(a) to allow a person to carry a handgun openly, but not concealed, without a permit so long as he or she does not have a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun against a person. ⤴︎
  2. See Boston v. State, 952 S.W.2d 671 (Ark. 1997). ⤴︎
  3. See Riggins v. State, 703 S.W.2d 463, 464 (Ark. Ct. App. 1986), “[a] journey has long been defined as ‘where one travels a distance from home sufficient to carry him beyond the circle of his neighbors and general acquaintances and outside of the routine of his daily business…'” (citations omitted ⤴︎
  4. Id., See also Ark. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2015-064 (Aug. 28, 2015)(interpreting the journey exception to apply when a person is in the process of traveling by vehicle outside his or her county and only while the handgun remains in a vehicle. ⤴︎
  5. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120(c). ⤴︎