Arkansas defines “machine gun” as “a weapon of any description by whatever name known, loaded or unloaded, from which more than five (5) shots or bullets may be rapidly, or automatically, or semi-automatically, discharged from a magazine, by a single function of the firing device.”1

Possession or use of a machine gun for “offensive or aggressive purpose” is prohibited and punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for 10 years or more.2

With limited exceptions, possession of a machine gun is presumed “offensive or aggressive” when it is:

  • On premises not owned or rented for bona fide permanent residence or business occupancy by the person in whose possession the machine gun may be found;
  • In the possession of or used by an unnaturalized foreign-born person or a person who has been convicted of a crime of violence in any court of record, state or federal, of the United States of America, its territories or insular possessions;
  • In the immediate vicinity of empty or loaded pistol shells of 30 (.30 in. or 7.63 mm.) or larger caliber which have been or are susceptible of use in the machine gun.3

Arkansas requires all manufacturers of machine guns to register all machine guns manufactured or handled.4

A person commits criminal use of a prohibited weapon if, except as authorized by law, he or she uses, possesses, makes, repairs, sells, or otherwise deals in a machine gun.5 However, it is a defense to prosecution for a violation of this section under circumstances “negating any likelihood that the weapon could be used as a weapon.”6

Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.7 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.8

See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-202(2). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-204. ⤴︎
  3. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-205. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-104. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d). ⤴︎
  8. Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479). ⤴︎