Arkansas Lawyers Preserve Your Second Amendment Freedoms
Aggressively fighting for your gun rights
At Spears Butler, PLLC we zealously defend your civil rights, including your right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Federal and Arkansas gun laws are notoriously complex, and even an innocent mistake can lead to serious criminal charges. With more than three decades of legal experience, we can guide gun dealers, gun collectors and individual gun owners through the National Firearms Act, including gun transfers, gun registration, gun permits and other pistol, rifle and shotgun matters.
Constitutional gun rights
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Although it is only one sentence, the Second Amendment is arguably one of the most widely debated provisions in the U.S. Bill of Rights.
Much of the debate revolves around the meaning of the phrase “the right to keep and bear arms.” In District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court definitively ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, including for self-defense purposes inside the home. However, the justices also confirmed that gun rights are not unlimited. Federal and state governments may enact reasonable gun restrictions, including laws regarding gun possession and sale. For instance, laws can prohibit the possession of firearms in certain sensitive areas, such as schools and government buildings. Laws may also limit gun possession by certain classes of individuals, including felons and the mentally ill.
Firearm statutes are often unclear and inconsistent. Whether you sell firearms or simply own a gun for hunting, it is important to fully understand your rights and responsibilities. A civil rights lawyer in Arkansas can help explain the laws and preserve your Constitutional freedoms.
Arkansas laws on purchasing, possessing and carrying firearms
In Arkansas, permits are not required to purchase or possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun. However, firearm possession or ownership is prohibited for anyone who has been convicted of a felony, adjudicated a mental defective or committed involuntarily to any mental institution.
Arkansas also places restrictions on carrying a handgun. Unless you have a license, you may not carry a handgun concealed on your person or in a vehicle. There are a number of exceptions, which include being on your own property, hunting (or going to and from this activity), traveling on a journey and acting within the scope of your official duties as a law enforcement officer, licensed security guard, prison guard or member of the armed forces.
Handgun owners may obtain a license to carry a handgun concealed through the Arkansas State Police. The director of the state police must issue the license as long as the applicant is a resident of the state for 90 days or longer, is at least 21, has satisfactorily completed a training course approved by the state, signs a statement of allegiance to the United States and the Arkansas Constitution, and does not fall under any of the several exclusions listed under the law. The long list of exclusions includes felony convictions, mental health conditions, violent crime or weapons convictions within the preceding five years, and alcohol and substances abuse problems.
The director must issue or deny your license within 120 days. If your license is denied, the director must inform you in writing and state the grounds for denial. You may then pursue an administrative appeal hearing during which you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your qualifications and challenge any grounds for denial.
Concealed carry licenses may also be suspended and revoked. If you are arrested or formally charged with a crime that would disqualify you from having a license, your license will be suspended until the case is over. Licenses can also be suspended by order of the Office of Child Support Enforcement, but will be reinstated once all outstanding child support is paid.
Arkansas concealed carry licenses may be revoked if you become ineligible under the criteria set forth in state or federal laws, are found guilty or plead guilty or nolo contendere to any crime involving the use of a weapon, or are found guilty or have pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to an alcohol-related offense committed while carrying a handgun.
Protecting your gun rights
Arkansas and federal firearms laws are complex and full of pitfalls for the unwary gun owner. The consequences of violating these laws can also be severe, including the loss of your guns rights and even criminal charges. Our experienced law firm in Arkansas can assist you with a number of legal issues involving firearms, including:
We can often successfully negotiate with licensing authorities regarding license issuance, suspension and renovation. If necessary, we also protect your Second Amendment rights in the courtroom through judicial review and administrative law appeals.
Contact a qualified Little Rock, AR attorney to protect your gun rights
If your Second Amendment rights are in jeopardy, you need an experienced lawyer. Call Spears Butler, PLLC at 501.315.5297 or book an appointment with us on our online scheduler. We offer flexible office hours and convenient office locations in Little Rock and Benton. Our attorneys also travel throughout Arkansas to discuss your case, as needed.