Legal Information: Arkansas

State Gun Laws

February 14, 2022

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Maybe.  There are many circumstances under which a gun license can be denied or revoked.  Arkansas state law says that a person can be denied a license to carry a concealed weapon if s/he:

  • has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence or of “carrying a weapon” within the last 5 years (unless the person received a suspended sentence for the crime or it was expunged);1
  • is under 21 (although s/he can get a license at 18 if s/he is currently on active duty in the United States Armed Forces, in the reserves, or was honorably discharged; or is in the National Guard);
  • has been convicted of a felony in any state;
  • is a danger to himself/herself or others due to his/her mental state;
  • suffers from a mental or physical illness that prevents the safe handling of a gun and has threatened or attempted suicide;
  • has been declared mentally incompetent by a court;
  • has voluntarily or involuntarily been committed to a mental institution or mental health treatment facility;
  • regularly uses drugs or alcohol to the point that his/her mental ability is harmed;
  • has been committed to a treatment facility for drugs or alcohol;
  • has been found guilty of a drug crime or 2 or more alcohol-related crimes within the last 3 years;
  • is not a US citizen or a permanent legal resident;
  • is not a resident of Arkansas (Note: It is also required that the person has resided continuously in Arkansas for the past 90 days unless the person or his/her spouse was on active duty in the military during that time);
  • is prohibited by federal law to possess or transport a firearm;
  • is a fugitive or has a warrant out for his/her arrest;2 or
  • if the county sheriff or chief of police in the area where the applicant lives submits an affidavit to the department that issues licenses in which s/he states that the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to himself/herself or to others based on past patterns of behavior or participation in an incident involving unlawful violence or threats of unlawful violence (or that the applicant is under a criminal investigation).3

If s/he already has a license to carry a concealed weapon, that license can be revoked (canceled) if:

  • the person has been found guilty of a crime of violence within the last 3 years; or
  • the department that issues licenses is notified by any law enforcement agency or a court that the license-holder (or applicant) is arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify him/her from having a license.  The license can be revoked until the criminal case is decided; at that point, it can continue to be revoked or it can be re-instated, depending on the outcome of the case.4

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun if you have a restraining order against him/her that meets certain requirements. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information. 

1 A.C.A. § 5 -73-308(a)(1)(A),(a)(2)
2 A.C.A. § 5 -73-309
3 A.C.A. § 5 -73-308(b)(1)
4 see A.C.A. § 5 -73-308(a)(1)(B),(a)(3)

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