Arkansas Instructors say Concealed Handgun Permit Easy to Get

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) -- The process of obtaining a concealed handgun license in Arkansas is pretty easy.  Your first step is to find an instructor and get signed up to take a safety course, after that you fill out the application and within just a few months you can have your license.

"We have a familiarization portion as far as handguns in general the laws," said Poinsett County Sheriff's Department Detective Mark Robinson, who is also a certified handgun instructor.

"We also teach home defense, personal protection in the home, and outside the home.  We teach the types of handguns you'd want to use for a concealed carry," said firearms instructor Blake Williams.

Instructors say the class and the application process are pretty easy.  A live fire test is done at the end of the course so the student can show knowledge and proficiency in shooting.

"Once you take the class and safety course the instructor will have you fill out the application and explain to you the procedures for sending it in," said Williams.

The concealed carry handgun license application is a carbon copy form.  One form goes for the application process and the other two forms go to the local sheriff and the local police chief.

"They have thirty days to respond to the concealed handgun licensing section if they personally know why this person wouldn't be a suitable candidate," said Robinson.

"If they know that you're a trouble or if you're someone who poses a dangerous threat to the community or to yourself, then they can deny your concealed handgun license," said Williams.

Robinson says Arkansas is also a "shall issue state" so unless there's a legitimate reason why someone shouldn't be granted the permit, the state can still issue the license.  Both instructors also say the number of applicants has gone up in the past several months.

"The major reason is personal protection, other than that there's really no other reason to have one," said Williams.

You cannot apply for a concealed handgun license in Arkansas unless you are a Arkansas resident, at least 21 years old, has not been conflicted of a felony, and several more.

There are several states that recognize Arkansas concealed handgun licenses.  According to the Arkansas State Police, Arkansas law requires that the reciprocal state must have concealed handgun regulations that are at least as restrictive as the Arkansas regulations.  There are a number of reasons why reciprocity agreements for concealed handgun licensing do not exist with states not found in the states listed below.  Those reasons can be: a disparity in training requirements, lack of specific background check measures, or a lack of pre-requisites for application.

Louisiana (state only)
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia