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Legal Information: Arkansas

State Gun Laws

January 3, 2024

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

Under Arkansas law, it is illegal for someone to have any firearm if s/he has been:

  • convicted of a felony;
  • determined by a court (“adjudicated”) to be mentally ill; or
  • committed involuntarily to any mental health institution.1

In addition, 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 five years, unless the person received a suspended sentence for the crime;2
  • 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;
  • 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 two or more alcohol-related crimes within the last three 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, which includes someone who has a final order of protection issued against him/her that meets federal requirements;
  • is a fugitive or has a warrant out for his/her arrest.3 Note: A person can also be denied a license 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:
  1. the applicant has been or is reasonably likely to be a danger to himself/herself or to others based on:
    • threats of unlawful violence;
    • participation in an incident involving unlawful violence; or
    • past patterns of behavior; or
  2. the applicant is under a criminal investigation.4

If someone 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 three years; or
  • the department that issues licenses is notified by any law enforcement agency or a court that the license-holder 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.5

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. § 5-73-103(a)
2 A.C.A. § 5-73-308(a)(1)(A), (a)(2)
3 A.C.A. § 5 -73-309
4 A.C.A. § 5 -73-308(b)(1)
5 See A.C.A. § 5 -73-308(a)(1)(B), (a)(3)