Arkansas generally prohibits the possession of a firearm, concealed or unconcealed:
- On the developed property of public K-12 schools;
- In or upon any school bus; or
- At a designated bus stop as identified on the route lists published by school districts each year.1
However, Arkansas allows persons licensed to carry concealed handguns to posses or store a firearm in his or her car on K-12 premises.2 In addition, a church that operates a private K-12 school and a private K-12 school or preschool may allow a person licensed to carry a concealed handgun to possess a firearm on school property.
Additionally, a law enacted in 2021 allows a public school to offer to its public school students in grades five through twelve a hunting safety course as part of the public school’s or public school district’s physical education and health and safety curriculum. The instructor may use an operable firearm as part of the instruction. (Effective approximately February 2022)3
Under a law passed in 2017,4 Arkansas now generally compels public colleges and universities to allow CCW holders to carry concealed handguns on campus and in college or university buildings if they have completed a one-time training course approved by the Director of the Arkansas State Police.5 CCW holders who complete this training course are given a “concealed carry endorsement” by the State Police on their CCW licenses indicating that they may carry on public college and university campuses, as well as certain other public buildings.6
The 2017 law also generally authorizes CCW holders (whether or not they have a “concealed carry endorsement”) to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of private colleges and universities, unless the college or university has adopted a policy expressly forbidding people from carrying concealed handguns on campus premises and in campus buildings and has posted notices to that effect.7
Public and private colleges or universities may submit a “security plan” to the Arkansas State Police Department for approval in order to obtain permission to designate various areas as firearm-sensitive areas only while the college or university is hosting or sponsoring a “collegiate athletic event.”8
However, it remains generally unlawful to store a handgun in a college or university-operated dormitory or residence hall9 and minors under the age of 18 are generally prohibited from possessing a handgun in Arkansas.10 People who do not have a CCW license (or who do not have a CCW license with a concealed carry endorsement for public colleges and universities) are also still generally prohibited from possessing a handgun on or about their person, while in an occupied vehicle, or otherwise readily available for use “with a purpose to employ the handgun as a weapon against a person” while on college or university grounds.11
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- Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-119(b)(1), 5-73-122(a)(3)(D)(ii).
- Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119(e)(12).
- Ark. Code Ann. 6-16-152.
- 2017 AR HB 1249, Section 8. See also, 2017 AR SB 724.
- Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-322(b), (g), (j).
- Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-322(g)(3).
- Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-322(c), 5-73-306(18).
- Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-101(11), 5-73-122(3)(D)(iv), 5-73-306(20), 5-73-325.
- Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-322(d), 5-73-119(c).
- Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-119(a).
- Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-73-119(c).