Ammunition Regulation in Arkansas

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Arkansas law does not, among other things:

  • Prohibit individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state law from possessing ammunition;
  • Require a license for the possession of ammunition; or
  • Require a license to sell ammunition.

Background Check Procedures in Arkansas

See our Background Check Procedures policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Arkansas is not a point of contact state for the NICS. Arkansas has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background checks prior to transferring a firearm. As a result, in Arkansas, firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.1

Federal law does not require dealers to conduct a background check if a firearm purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meets certain conditions.2 As a result, concealed weapon permit holders in Arkansas are exempt from the federal background check requirement when purchasing a handgun.3 (Note, however, that people who have become prohibited from possessing firearms may continue to hold state permits to purchase or permit firearms if the state fails to remove these permits in a timely fashion.)

Arkansas does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm.

See our Private Sales policy summary for more information.

  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at ⤴︎
  2. Federal law exempts persons who have been issued state permits to purchase or possess firearms from background checks if those permits were issued: 1) within the previous five years in the state in which the transfer is to take place; and 2) after an authorized government official has conducted a background investigation, including a search of the NICS database, to verify that possession of a firearm would not be unlawful. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.102(d). ⤴︎
  3. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, U.S. Department. of Justice, Brady Law: Permanent Brady Permit Chart at: ⤴︎

Categories of Prohibited People in Arkansas

See our Categories of Prohibited People policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.

Arkansas has incorporated some of the federal prohibitions as state offenses. Arkansas prohibits any person from owning or possessing any firearm if he or she has been:

  • Convicted of a felony (including cases where the sentence is suspended or the defendant is placed on probation) unless the case was dismissed or expunged or the person was subsequently granted a pardon explicitly restoring the ability to possess a firearm;
  • Adjudicated mentally ill; or
  • Committed involuntarily to any mental institution.1

A person who has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere prior to an adjudication of guilt for a felony is nevertheless considered as having a felony conviction for purposes of any law prohibiting possession of a firearm by certain persons.2

Arkansas law also grants the governor the authority to restore the right of a convicted felon or an adjudicated delinquent to possess a firearm under state law, without granting a pardon, upon recommendation of the chief law enforcement officer in the jurisdiction where the person resides, so long as the underlying felony or delinquency adjudication did not involve the use of a weapon and occurred more than eight years previous. (Note that federal law may still prohibit the person from possessing firearms.)

For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see the Arkansas Background Checks section.

  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-103(a), (b). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-93-303(c)(1). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Arkansas

A parent must prevent illegal firearm possession or report the possession to an appropriate authority if he or she knows that his or her minor child is in illegal possession of a firearm in or upon:

  • The premises of a public or private school;
  • A public or private school’s athletic stadium or other facility or building in which school-sponsored events are conducted; or
  • A public park, playground, or civic center.1

For purposes of this provision, “parent” is defined as a parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or person in loco parentis or who has legal custody of a student pursuant to a court order and with whom the student resides.2

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-27-210(b). Minor is defined as a person under 18 years of age. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-25-101(4). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-27-210(a)(2). ⤴︎

Concealed Carry in Arkansas

See our Concealed Carry policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Arkansas prohibits carrying a weapon on or about the person or in a vehicle for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the weapon against a person.1 It is permissible to carry a handgun without a license, however, if a person is over eighteen and is on “a journey beyond the county in which the person lives.”2

Arkansas is a “shall issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement must issue a concealed weapons license if the applicant meets certain qualifications. The Director of the Department of Arkansas State Police (“the Director” and “State Police”) must issue a license to carry a concealed handgun if the applicant:

  • Is a citizen of the United States or a legal permanent resident;
  • Has been a resident of Arkansas continuously for the past 90 days or longer;
  • Is 21 years of age or older;
  • Does not suffer from a mental or physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a handgun and has not threatened or attempted suicide;
  • Has not been convicted of a felony, without having been pardoned and had firearms possession rights restored, or having had the record sealed or expunged for a sentence prior to March 13, 1995;
  • Is not subject to any federal, state or local law which makes it unlawful to receive, possess or transport any firearm, and has 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;
  • Does not chronically or habitually abuse controlled substances to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired (i.e., the applicant has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a treatment facility for the abuse of a controlled substance or has been found guilty of a crime under the of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, § 5-64-101 et seq., or similar laws, within the last three years);
  • Does not chronically or habitually use alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired (i.e., the applicant has been voluntarily or involuntarily committed as an alcoholic to a treatment facility or has been convicted of two or more offenses related to the use of alcohol within the last three years);
  • Desires a legal means to carry a concealed handgun to defend himself or herself;
  • Has not been adjudicated mentally incompetent;
  • Has not been voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility;3
  • Is not a fugitive from justice or does not have an active warrant for his or her arrest;
  • Has satisfactorily completed a training course as prescribed and approved by the Director; and
  • Signs a statement of allegiance to the United States and Arkansas Constitutions.4

The Director may deny a license to carry a concealed handgun if, within the preceding five years, the applicant has been found guilty of one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, or for the offense of carrying a weapon.5 The Director may also deny a license if the sheriff or chief of police of the applicant’s place of residence submits an affidavit that the applicant has been, or is reasonably likely to be:

[A] danger to himself or herself or others or to the community at large, as demonstrated by past patterns of behavior or participation in an incident involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence, or if the applicant is under a criminal investigation at the time of applying for a license to carry a concealed handgun.6

The Director has 120 days to review the completed application, and in that period must issue the license or deny the application based solely on the ground that the applicant fails to qualify under the specified criteria.7

When the State Police receive notification from any law enforcement agency or court that a licensee has been found guilty of, or has pled guilty or no contest to, any crime involving the use of a weapon, the license shall be immediately revoked.8 In addition, the Director must revoke the license of any licensee who has pleaded guilty or no contest to, or been found guilty of, an alcohol-related offense committed while carrying a handgun.9

The Director may revoke a license if the licensee has been found guilty of one or more crimes of violence within the preceding three years.10

Firearm Safety Training

Arkansas requires concealed carry permit applicants to complete a training course prescribed and approved by the State Police.11 Training can be obtained from any person who is registered with the State Police as a Firearms Safety Instructor.12 Arkansas does not mandate how many hours of training applicants must obtain. Rather, instructors are required to evaluate an applicant’s competence via a live firing demonstration. Instructors may only certify that an applicant’s training is complete if he or she demonstrates “a basic level of knowledge, understanding, and practical operation for safe handling of a handgun.”13 In addition, the State Police publishes a manual that contains the minimum information to be covered in a training class. The manual is available at the State Police website.

Under a law enacted in 2017 (and effective September 1, 2017),14 CCW license holders may also complete an additional, one-time training course approved by the Director of the Arkansas State Police Department to obtain a “concealed carry endorsement” authorizing such individuals to carry loaded firearms in a variety of otherwise restricted public buildings and facilities, including public college or university campus buildings and the State Capitol.15 This additional training must be offered at all concealed carry training courses and instructors at “no more than a nominal” cost.16 The Director of the State Police is also authorized to exempt an applicant from up to 4 hours of concealed carry endorsement course instruction if the applicant received applicable training within 10 years of applying for the concealed carry enhancement.17

Duration & Renewal

Licenses to carry concealed handguns issued or renewed after July 31, 2007, are valid for five years from the date of issuance.18 (A license to carry a concealed handgun issued before that time was valid for only four years.) Those seeking to renew their license must pay a $35 renewal fee plus costs for processing a new background check, complete a training course and provide a digital photograph.19

Disclosure or Use of Information

The State Police must maintain an automated listing of license holders available on-line, upon request, at all times, to all law enforcement agencies through the Arkansas Crime Information Center.20

Medical, criminal, or other records collected pursuant to the licensing process must be kept confidential.21

The following records are exempt from public disclosure:

Records pertaining to the issuance, renewal, expiration, suspension, or revocation of a license to carry a concealed handgun, or a present or past licensee under section 5-73-301 et seq., including without limitation all records provided to or obtained by any local, state, or federal governments, their officials, agents, or employees in the investigation of an applicant, licensee, or past licensee and all records pertaining to a criminal or health history check conducted on the applicant, licensee, or past licensee.22

There are exceptions for:

  • Information released to a law enforcement agency for the purpose of assisting in a criminal investigation or prosecution, or for determining validity of or eligibility for a license;
  • The names of an applicant, licensee, or past licensee if contained in investigative or arrest reports of law enforcement that are subject to release as public records.23


Arkansas recognizes all out-of-state licenses to carry a concealed handgun regardless of whether the state that issued the license recognizes concealed handgun licenses issued by Arkansas.24  A person who has a valid concealed weapons permit from another state who becomes a resident of Arkansas may use an abbreviated procedure to transfer that license to Arkansas.25

  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120. Note that a 2015 Arkansas attorney general opinion concluded that section 5-73-120 does not permit concealed carry without a permit. Ark. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 2015-064 (Aug. 28, 2015). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119(e). See 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. ⤴︎
  3. Veterans who have been voluntarily committed can petition courts for permission to qualify for a CCW permit. ⤴︎
  4. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-309(1). For detailed provisions concerning the application and background check processes, including information required on the application form, see §§ 5-73-310 and 5-73-311. ⤴︎
  5. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-308(a). ⤴︎
  6. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-308(b). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-312(b). ⤴︎
  9. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-312(c). ⤴︎
  10. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-308(a)(1). ⤴︎
  11. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-309(1). ⤴︎
  12. 130 00 Code of Arkansas Rules and Regulations 001, et. seq. ⤴︎
  13. Id. ⤴︎
  14. 2017 AR HB 1249, Section 8. ⤴︎
  15. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-122(a)(3)(D), 5-73-322. ⤴︎
  16. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-322(g). ⤴︎
  17. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-322(g)(2)(B). ⤴︎
  18. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-302. ⤴︎
  19. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-313(b), (d), (e). ⤴︎
  20. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-307(a). ⤴︎
  21. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-311(a)(4)(C). ⤴︎
  22. Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-105(b)(19). ⤴︎
  23. Id. ⤴︎
  24. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-321. ⤴︎
  25. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-319. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited People in Arkansas

Arkansas has no law requiring the removal of firearms from persons who have become prohibited from possessing them. However, Arkansas law authorizes criminal courts to issue a no contact order, which may include a prohibition against firearms possession, to a defendant in a criminal proceeding if it appears that a danger exists that the defendant will commit a serious crime, seek to intimidate a witness, or otherwise unlawfully interfere with the orderly administration of justice.1

  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 16-85-714.  See also Ark. Code Ann. § 5.73.110 (stating that nothing in Ark. Code Ann. §§ 16-85-101 – 65-85-109 shall be construed to prohibit a law enforcement officer from disarming a minor or a person who reasonably appears to be mentally defective or otherwise mentally irresponsible). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Arkansas

Arkansas law does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition (unlike federal law);
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Arkansas does require courts to notify a person who has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor that it is unlawful for the person to possess firearms or ammunition pursuant to federal law.1 Orders of protection must contain notification that federal law prohibits anyone subject to an order of protection or convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence to possess firearms or ammunition.2

For laws governing the procedure for surrender of firearms by a person subject to a protective order, see the section entitled Disarming Prohibited Persons.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-26-313. ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-15-207(b)(3). ⤴︎