Arkansas Set to Become Fifth Constitutional Carry State?

That dog will hunt (courtesy

I’m not sure if Arkansas Carry is jumping the gun a bit. The gun rights group devotes an entire graph of their celebratory announcement to warning gun owners that this done deal maybe ain’t so done yet (“Arkansas Carry suggests that citizens consult a lawyer before carrying a handgun in public after the act takes effect”). Be that as it may, The Natural State’s new gun bill beats the hell out of Rhode Island’s forthcoming legislative package, which threatens to ban the possession of “assault rifles.” No grandfathering. Sorry, distracted. Press release . . .

In July, 2013, Arkansas will become the fifth state in the United States to enact “Constitutional Carry” into law. Act 746 of the 2013 General Assembly was signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe on April 4th, 2013, after receiving only one “nay” vote from the legislature.

Constitutional Carry occurs in a state when no laws exist that generally restrict the carry of handguns (open or concealed) for self-defense purposes. Arkansas law 5-73-120 currently prohibits the possession of a handgun if it is possessed “readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun… as a weapon against a person,” which puts the burden of proof of legal carry upon the person carrying the handgun. Act 746 changes the prohibitive language in July as follows

Arkansas Code § 5-73-120. Carrying a weapon

(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.

This technical change decriminalizes the carry of handguns for self-defense purposes, and puts the burden upon a prosecutor to prove criminal intent of a person carrying a handgun. Also, there are no specifications whether a legally carried handgun should be carried openly or concealed; thus it is considered Constitutional Carry by Arkansas Carry and the gun owners of the state.

Act 746 is further supported by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and by Article II, § 5 of the Arkansas Constitution (right to bear arms). The manner of carry under Act 746 also does not require a permit or training; however, Arkansas Carry desires that all citizens obtain firearms safety training before carrying a firearm in public. Arkansans should also obtain a state CHCL permit to enable them to carry in reciprocal states.

Again, Act 746 becomes law in July.

Arkansas Carry suggests that citizens consult a lawyer before carrying a handgun in public after the act takes effect. Being a new law, Act 746 is untested by the courts, and law enforcement officials are not completely aware of the implications as it pertains to the carry of handguns. Arkansas Carry’s interpretation of this law cannot be held as legally binding, and prosecutors may construe the law differently.

The Board of Directors of Arkansas Carry wishes to thank Representative Denny Altes of Fort Smith for sponsoring Act 746, and also acknowledges and appreciates all of the hard work that was performed to write language suitable for law enforcement agencies, members of the Arkansas General Assembly and Governor Mike Beebe.


About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

36 Responses to Arkansas Set to Become Fifth Constitutional Carry State?

  1. avatarjwm says:

    Now that’s a well protected beagle.

  2. avatarAnonymous says:

    Nice. If only Texas had it – so Armed forces who carry firearms to defend this country can walk the rural roads with their sons with open carry and not be harassed by officers and charged with “rudely displaying a firearm.”

    After all, what are we trying to say if we can ship our youth to other countries to be shot at but not allow them to carry weapons on their own soil.

  3. avatarDon says:

    I didn’t even notice the handgun until I saw your comment. Either my situational awareness is poor or it’s so good that I subconsciously determined that a girl walking a beagle with a holstered openly carried weapon is not a threat.

  4. avatarMy Name Is Bob says:

    “My dog will poop on any lawn he wants, damnit!” Lol

  5. avatarRalph says:

    That’s the weakest Con Carry law I’ve ever read.

  6. avatarterry says:

    DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING UP FOR INTERPRETATION. The 2nd amendment was clear as glass until the left wanted to interpret things their way. What a mess that turned into. Put it into real simple words. HANDS OFF THE PEOPLES GUNS.

    • avatarAL says:

      Terry, what is the name of your militia and how are they regulated ????
      You sorely ignore the first 2 phrases of the second amendment. It’s not a free for all.
      Want some legal precedence ? See US versus Miller

      • avatarGerald says:

        Your point is? SCotUS has ruled that guns are self defense weapons at home and out of the home. Constitution’s 2A and Arkansas right to bear arms, here it’s a double whammy.

      • avatarRobert says:

        Incorrect. The 2nd Amendment clearly states THE PEOPLE have the right to defend themselves FROM the state militias.

        That comma between the two phrasings isn’t there so you can pause to take a breath.

  7. avatargreat unknown says:

    The way things are going in the Illinois legislature [i.e., nothing getting done], Illinois might be constitutional carry before Arkansas.

  8. avatarSixpack70 says:

    I bet they don’t get WWG 911 calls on them.

  9. avatarPsywarrior says:

    It isn’t perfect, but at least it’s a law moving towards freedom and not away from it. We are “shall issue” and honestly I don’t see any problem with having to get a license for CHCL if it is shall issue. Im happy to live in Arkansas.

  10. avatarRalph says:

    I just noticed that the dog is carrying.

  11. avatarIn Memphis says:

    “Being a new law, Act 746 is untested by the courts, and law enforcement officials are not completely aware of the implications…”

    I get the part where LEOs might not be aware of it right away but this, “untested in court” thing bugs me. Why does anything need to be tested in order for it to be interprited? Why write a law then leave it open for interpritation?

  12. avatarPulatso says:

    There’s a court case in Florida right now that might lead to constitutional carry. In short, a CCL holder was arrested for his shirt riding up and his gun showing. There is a law on the books decriminalizing accidental exposure (brandishing without firing, even in self defense, is hard to defend here), but the judge ruled the law was overbroad and that concealed carry was a privilege. Well, Florida Carry (of Florida Carry dot org) has appealed to a higher court that since the Florida Constitution states that bearing arms, even outside the home, is a right, and concealed carry is only a privelege, then open carry is constitutional. Their case must have some legs, the Florida AG (liberal democrat) filed a motion to dismiss the appeal…a motion the state supreme court slapped down. Here’s to hoping.

    • avatarstateisevil says:

      This case (Dale Norman v. Florida) could possible lead to licensed open carry or possibly unlicensed open carry for Florida. Concealment would still require massa’s permission slip.

    • avatarPulatso says:

      Correction to above: the Florida AG, Pam Bondi is a Republican, although clearly a progressive one, not a liberal Democrat. I was thinking of the State Attorney, Willie Meggs.

    • avatarThe Blue Angel says:

      The FL AG is no Libtard Demonrat, but she is a RINO so that makes her just a Libtard Light.

  13. avatarShenandoah says:

    I’d engage in small talk with her.

  14. avatarRon Burgundy says:

    Isn’t Bill Clinton from there? A nice thought…

  15. still bummed that our governor here in UT vetoed Con Carry… at least some states are doing it right…

    thx for the head’s up on this,


  16. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    We can walk around open or concealed carry, I can carry a samari sword if I want to, billy club,electric weapon. The only bad thing is that failure to heed the no weapons signs is criminal trespass. The fine etc only kicks in if you fail to leave if spotted packin though. I don’t have much to bitch about in Wis. with a great police force,sheriffs,attorney general,governor, etc. I’m happy Arkansas is on the “right” track, Randy

  17. avatarGreg Camp says:

    So long as our licensing system remains intact, I’ll be happy with this. Arkansas is tied with Michigan for the most states that honor our licenses. I look forward to the day when the whole United States honors the Constitution, but until then, I want to keep what good we do have.

    • avatarWill says:

      Michigan only recognizes the permit IF the State that issued it is the State you reside in. Fair enough in some ways. I’ve heard rumors Arkansas is working on honoring valid permits from All the States of the Union.

  18. avatarCharlie says:

    Note to the attractive young lady: Your rein and leash hand is your left (weak) hand (unless you’re left handed). This leaves your right (strong) hand to draw and train your firearm.

    Walk your dog on the left. Hold your reins on your left. Shoot the bad guys with your right!

  19. avatarJason says:

    I’m from Arkansas and this is the first I’ve heard of it. I’ve been hassled before because I carried two pocket knives. Legal or not the cops will still want some I.d. Its illegal now to print so this would be a big bonus.

    • avatarGerald says:

      I’ve never been hassled about printing. There is nothing in the gun laws about “printing”. It says concealed which means hide from public view. If you were it was the cop and not law.

  20. avatarNeil says:

    So does this mean felons can carry again? I have non violent, non weapons felonies from years ago, would be nice to carry again.

  21. avatartfm says:

    The AR AG specifically says that it doesn’t open the door to open carry.

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