Posted on January 2, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. Arkansas ranked 34th out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws.
In 2013, the Arkansas legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.
Laws that Weaken Gun Regulation
|AR S 71||Allows guns in houses of worship if permitted by the head of the house of worship.|
|AR S 131||Prohibits the release of records related to concealed weapon permit holders and applicants to the public.|
|AR S 170||Allows a pregnant woman to use deadly force to protect her unborn child, with no duty to retreat unless the pregnant woman knows she can avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force and simultaneously ensure the complete safety of her unborn child.|
|AR S 858||Provides automatic reciprocity with all other state concealed weapon permits.|
|AR S 896||Allows guns in K-12 schools run by a house of worship.|
|AR H 1243||Allows staff and faculty to carry on university, college, or community college campuses.|
|AR H 1700||Allows guns in bars and other areas.|
|AR H 2025||Allows concealed weapon permit holders who are employed in a liquor store to possess a firearm in the store.|
Arkansas does not:
- Conduct its own background checks for firearm sales, but instead relies on the FBI;
- Require a background check prior to the transfer of a firearm between private parties;
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- License firearm owners;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Limit the number of firearms that may be purchased at one time;
- Impose a waiting period on firearm purchases;
- Regulate unsafe handguns;
- Require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement; or
- Significantly regulate ammunition sales.
Local governments in Arkansas generally lack authority to regulate firearms or ammunition, and the state requires local law enforcement to issue a concealed handgun license to any applicant who meets certain basic qualifications.
In 2010, Arizona had the 11th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Arkansas supplied the 11th highest number of crime guns to other states per capita in 2009. Arkansas exports crime guns at a rate higher than the national average.
Arkansas Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in Arkansas, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.