Arkansas recognizes citizens’ right to bear arms and has relatively lenient gun laws in comparison to other states. Not surprisingly, lending a friend a gun is in itself legal; however, there are important restrictions to know, and breaking them could lead to a misdemeanor or felony conviction.

Under state law, the legality of lending a gun to a friend depends on whether or not the friend can legally own a gun, the purpose of lending the firearm and whether or not the weapon itself is legal in the state.

Illegal firearms

The state of Arkansas declares certain weapons outright illegal for those not in law enforcement or active military service. These include firearms with silencers, machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and sawed-off rifles, among others. It is also illegal to deface any firearm — meaning to obfuscate or remove a serial number from the weapon. Making, owning, using or lending any of these items is a felony offense in most cases.

Illegal gun furnishment

Arkansas recognizes the right to bear arms and extends this to most citizens over the age of 18; however, certain restrictions apply. With few exceptions, anyone with a felony conviction, adjudication of mental illness or commitment to a mental institution is not allowed to possess a firearm. If you know or should reasonably know that someone falls into any of these categories, you may not provide them with a firearm. Doing so can result in a felony conviction for the lender.

State law also restricts provision of a firearm if you have reason to believe that the recipient wishes to use it to commit a crime. Whether or not you participate in the commission of the crime, you may be subject to criminal charges.

If you do decide to loan a firearm to anyone in the state of Arkansas, be certain to carefully research state and local laws. Always remember that possession of firearms in many locations is also restricted and may preclude other decisions you make.