In Arkansas, you must obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun. You must carry the license, along with valid identification, whenever you are in possession of the gun. Upon request of a law enforcement officer, you must show both your license and identification. (Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-315.)
Even if you have a concealed handgun license, there are some places and situations where you are not allowed to carry a gun.
To learn more about the restrictions on carrying firearms in Arkansas, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Arkansas.
Read on to learn the details of Arkansas’s handgun permit process.
The Arkansas State Police (ASP) must give you a license to carry a concealed handgun if you meet all of the following requirements:
(Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-309.)
The ASP may deny a license if, within the five years prior to applying, you were found guilty of one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor or for illegally carrying a weapon, unless your conviction was expunged or your sentence was suspended.
The ASP may also deny your application if the county sheriff or chief of police submits an affidavit that you have been or are likely to be a danger to yourself or others, as demonstrated by your past behavior; or if you are under a criminal investigation at the time you apply for the license.
(Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-308.)
In Arkansas, you are not required to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun if you are a certified law enforcement officer, chief of police, or sheriff, as long as you are otherwise authorized to carry a concealed handgun. (Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-304.)
To obtain a permit, you must:
(Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-311.)
The total fee for a new license, including the cost of a background check, is about $150.
After you complete your application and pay the necessary fees, you must complete a required training course for a concealed handgun license.
You can apply online for a concealed handgun permit and find a list of certified training instructors by visiting the website of the Arkansas State Police.
In Arkansas, a concealed handgun permit is valid for five years. (Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-302.)
You may renew your permit no more than 90 days before it expires. You must renew it within six months of the expiration date, or it will be considered permanently invalid and you will have to submit a new application and pay a full application fee.
To renew your permit, you must:
You will also be required to take another handgun training course (providing certification) and pass another background check.
(Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-313.)
The current cost to renew a gun permit, including the background check fee, is about $65.
You can apply online to renew your concealed handgun permit by visiting the website of the Arkansas State Police.
As of August 2013, the State of Arkansas acknowledges all concealed handgun carry licenses lawfully issued by another state.
The ASP recommends that, before traveling to another state, you contact that state directly to confirm that you can use your Arkansas permit to carry a concealed weapon in the state.
Your handgun license will be revoked if you become ineligible for a license under any of the rules set out above. A law enforcement officer who arrests you for an offense that requires revocation of your license must confiscate it and send it to the ASP. Your permit will be held until a final determination of your charge is made, when it will be either permanently revoked or returned to you.
In addition, the ASP will revoke your license if you plead guilty or nolo contendere to, or are found guilty of, any crime involving the use of a weapon, or any alcohol-related offense committed while carrying a handgun.
(Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-312.)
If you submit false information on or with your handgun license application, you are guilty of of a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to 90 days. (Arkansas Statutes § 5-73-305.) Other gun law violations in Arkansas could constitute anything from a misdemeanor to a serious felony offense. You can learn the specifics by carefully reading Chapter 73 of the Arkansas Statutes.
If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Arkansas, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit or carry violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.