In July Arkansas will become the fifth State to allow constitutional carry. Which means the second amendment is the only permit you need to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise.

Sponsored by Representative Danny Altes from Ft. Smith, Act 746 sailed through state government with only one no vote, and was signed by Governor Beebe on April 4, 2013.

Constitutional Carry essentially means the State has no laws to limit you carrying a firearm. Basically the only justification that you will need to carry a firearm, concealed or not, is the United States Constitution.

In most states, to carry a concealed firearm, you must have a permit, but in a Constitutional Carry state, the burden of proof falls on prosecutors to prove you were carrying the gun with criminal intent.

Another thing that Act 746 does is decriminalize the firing of a gun in self-defense. Before it was illegal to carry a firearm with the intent of harming another person, which meant that if you fired a gun at a person in self-defense it would be illegal. The new law changes that wording to say it is illegal to carry a firearm with the intent of UNLAWFULLY using it on another person.

Other states that allow Constitutional Carry are Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, and Arizona. There are some parts of Idaho, Montana, Illinois, and New Mexico that also allow Constitutional Carry.

Expect some confusion to start, as the law has never been tested in an Arkansas court, and law enforcement officers from different agencies may have different interpretations of the law to start out, and it may take a bit of time to get everybody on the same page, but still, this is a major victory for gun owners rights in the Natural State.

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