Preemption Statute

Arkansas Code Annotated sections 14-54-1411(b)(1) (regulating municipalities) and 14-16-504(b)(1) (regulating counties) provide:

(A) A local unit of government1 shall not enact any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner, the ownership, transfer, transportation, carrying, or possession of firearms, ammunition for firearms, or components of firearms, except as otherwise provided in state or federal law.

(B) This shall not prevent the enactment of an ordinance regulating or forbidding the unsafe discharge of a firearm.

Exceptions

The governing body of a city, town, or county “may enact an emergency ordinance regulating the transfer, transportation, or carrying of firearms” or their components if the governor of Arkansas has declared a state of emergency.2 The emergency ordinance enacted by a city or town cannot be in effect for more than 20 days and must be enacted by a two-thirds majority of the governing body.3

In addition, a county may regulate the discharge of firearms at the request of the governing body of a suburban improvement district4 or a property owners’ association.5

Finally, local governments of counties, larger cities, and incorporated towns may regulate the location and construction of a sport shooting range.6 However, when a local government enacts an ordinance affecting an existing shooting range, the range must be allowed to continue operation even if it does not comply with the new ordinance.7 In addition, a local government may not prohibit a shooting range that was in existence on or before August 12, 2005, from performing certain repairs, remodeling, expanding or enhancing its membership, facilities or activities.8

Interpretation

As of the date this page was last updated, Giffords Law Center is not aware of any significant case law interpreting these statutes.

Immunity

For state laws prohibiting local units of government (i.e., cities and counties) from filing certain types of lawsuits against the gun industry, see our page on Immunity Statutes in Arkansas.

Notes
  1. A “local unit of government” is defined as “a city, town, or county.” Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-54-1411(a), 14-16-504(a). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-54-1411(c)(1), 14-16-504(c)(1). ⤴︎
  3. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-54-1411(c)(2). ⤴︎
  4. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-16-501. ⤴︎
  5. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-16-502. ⤴︎
  6. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-1-101(c). ⤴︎
  7. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-1-101(a). ⤴︎
  8. Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-1-101(b). ⤴︎