Arkansas Passes Significant NFA Gun Law Reforms in 2019

Arkansas Passes Significant Gun Law Reforms in 2019
Arkansas Passes Significant NFA Gun Law Reforms in 2019

Arizona -( In 2019, Arkansas passed gun law reform for silencers, other NFA items, and cut concealed handgun permit fees in half.

The State of Arkansas has passed a significant reform of suppressor law and state law regarding National Firearms Act firearms generally. SB 400 passed the Senate on 6 March 2019, 29 to 6.  It passed the House on the 13th of March 2019, 75 to 12. It was signed into law by Governor Hutchinson on March 19, 2019.

Four legislators were prominent in leading the fight to pass SB 400 and reform Arkansas gun laws. In the Senate, they were Senators Bob Ballinger and Trent Garner. In the House, they were Representatives Justin Gonzales and Jim Dotson.

SB 400, now Act 495, eliminates the Arkansas ban on silenced (suppressed) firearms. The old law made it illegal to use, possess, make, repair, sell or otherwise deal in suppressed firearms.  Senator Ballinger is reported to have told the Senate that there were about 10,000 people who owned suppressors in Arkansas, under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

SB 400 repealed the prohibition on silenced firearms in its entirety. The old law made suppressed firearms prohibited weapons. It was technically illegal for the owner of a legal silencer to attach it to a firearm.

Silencer/suppressor law in Arkansas has been repealed, except for federal law under the NFA. If the NFA law is reformed, there will not be a conflict with Arkansas law.

Also, SB 400 makes it clear that other National Firearm Act items, such as short-barreled shotguns, short barreled rifles, and fully automatic guns, can be legally owned under the NFA rules, in Arkansas.

Arkansas is a Constitutional Carry state. A person does not need to have a permit to carry a pistol. But permits are useful for reciprocity in other states. Arkansas is a “Shall Issue” state. The state issues permit to people who meet the objective criteria for the permit.

In this session of the legislature, Arkansas cut the fees for a concealed carry permit in half. First-time permit fees were reduced from $100 to $50, for people 65 or older, the fee was reduced from $50 to $25. The Arkansas permit is recognized by 37 other states.   The bill to cut the permit fees was SB 17. From

SECTION 1. Arkansas Code § 573311(a)(2), concerning the fees for a license to carry a concealed handgun, is amended to read as follows:

(2) A nonrefundable license fee of one hundred dollars ($100) fifty dollars ($50.00), except that the nonrefundable license fee is fifty dollars ($50.00) twentyfive dollars ($25.00) if the applicant is sixtyfive31(65) years of age or older; 

The renewal fee was reduced from $35 to $25.

Professor John Lott has shown that increased fees reduce the number of people willing to obtain carry permits. Similarly, reduced fees increased carry permit participation rates.

With the decrease in Arkansas permit fees, the percentage of adults with carry permits in Arkansas is likely to increase dramatically in the next few years.

As of 2018, Arkansas was already well above the national average, with 10.4% of the adult population having a concealed handgun carry permit.  The state with the highest participation rate is Alabama, with 22.11% of adults having a permit.

Arkansas legislators killed bills which would have expanded the list of prohibited possessors in Arkansas and would have allowed a person to be stripped of Second Amendment rights without due process.

  • Killed Senate Bill 621 would have allowed courts to require people to surrender their firearms to law enforcement or have them seized, based on statements made by a petitioner in an ex parte proceeding — before any formal hearing with the opportunity to be represented by counsel and present counter-evidence — and even though they may not have committed or even threatened to commit any unlawful or violent act.  Someone could be stripped of their Second Amendment rights without due process, without being taken into custody for any criminal offense or without being required to undergo evaluation for treatment by a mental health professional.
  • Killed House Bill 1655 that would expand the list prohibited persons under Arkansas state law to include people who are (and would continue to be) under no federal firearm prohibition and who currently possess firearms lawfully.

Most of the postitive efforts to reform gun laws are happening in the states with the support of the NRA-ILA.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 21 thoughts on “Arkansas Passes Significant NFA Gun Law Reforms in 2019

    1. I wish Professor Lott would come to New York and see if he could talk some sense into the commies that controls this state. Pretty incredible that 43 states out 50 will allow suppressed shooting. They won’t get it through their dumb heads that it’s best for ear protection as well as not startling game when a shot is fired.

      1. Kevin,

        I hear ya, Kevin!
        NY has the toughest gun laws, as you know. Unless there’s some miracle, they will probably never change. Many years ago (probably in the 60s), my daddy knew a man who went on vacation (from LA) to NY & carried his pistol. He left it hidden in the hotel room while he & his family went out. Unfortunately, housekeeping came through & found it & he was in it pretty deep. I believe it was called the Sullivan law which had such restrictions. I don’t know the outcome, but that was awful. Sounds almost communistic.
        In LA, packing heat is a way of life, just about.
        Somebody needs to change NY laws, but sadly, there are just too many libs up there.

      1. Oregon also. It would be refreshing also to have KrisyAnne also once again state the intention of the Constitution and not a bunch of those who only use hate to distort the intended law of the land and forcing unlawful law to the population without voice.
        I think not on the money gift. For sure there is no reason for such an action, and it’s an act that could not be kept secret, or would membership ever approve. Also there isn’t one thing the NRA does, or would do that OBummer would approve of. Any such donation would be waved in the air with a bunch of publicity by the Demorats. Believable if it were George Soros, or Rev. Wright from the church of “God Damn America” but very doubtful indeed that any NRA member or Leadership would give anything but scorn to the Neighborhood Organizer! Good try however, NOT

    2. I’m really very tired of the NRA and have absolutely no confidence in it anymore.
      Pity it’s come to this.

    3. If suppressors were illegal in Arkansas and the NFA requires the chief law enforcement officer to sign off on the application how did the feds approve the purchase of 10,000 suppressors that were illegal to possess under state law?

      1. I’m a bit confused by this as well. Most of the gun stores around me sold suppressors well before this law was repealed. Maybe it was one of those older laws that nobody enforced, unless they wanted to use it as a tacked-on charge, and they finally got around to repelling it.

        1. They were bought in Arkansas if you had a conceal and carry permit but you had to wait on it for 90 day back ground check

      2. The suppressors were legal under NFA. You just couldn’t attach them to a firearm. That would have been illegal up until passage of the law.

      3. HINT: Persons that either owned them prior to a change in state law or persons that owned them prior to moving to Arkansas. Also review: Ex-Post-Facto and the un-Constitutionality of attempting to apply ex-post-facto methods to deny a citizen’s rights.

    4. Wrong. The NRA was nowhere to be found in this session. In fact, they supported the Red Flag law that took much work to kill here in Arkansas. Fact…there were lots of Mom’s Demand Action supporting every gun control bill there was. The NRA was a total no show.

          1. Supporting it via email after all the leg work was done by Arkansan’s isn’t support in my book. Robert is right. The NRA was no show on decent bills this session but supported the red flag crap.
            Also, this article has a bunch of propaganda in it and the fees concerning current chcl scheme is wrong. Currently its $143.40 new applicant and $62.80 renewal. Pretty simple to check ASP website for it.

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