Constitutional carry refers to the freedom to carry concealed firearms without the need for a dedicated permit. It also goes by the name permitless carry.
On August 1, 2023, Arkansas became a constitutional carry state with the enaction of Act 777. With this change, gun owners in the state need to understand the new rules.
Constitutional carry changes
Constitutional carry comes from the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms. The driving philosophy behind constitutional carry revolves around the belief that the right to self-defense is an inherent one.
This law grants eligible individuals the freedom to carry a concealed firearm without the need to obtain a permit. Individuals who do not have anything barring them from gun ownership will be able to avoid having to go through the permit process. This usually involves an application, training and fees.
Permits still exist
Even though the new law means residents in the state do not have to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the state still offers permits. The rationale behind this is to enable Arkansas residents to carry concealed firearms when they travel in states where permits are still a requirement. By providing permits even in the context of constitutional carry, the state recognizes the diverse legal landscapes across states.
States in the U.S. have the authority to determine their own gun laws, and the adoption of constitutional carry varies. It is always important to check the local laws, especially when traveling from state to state.