Benefits of a Carry Permit

License or NO License??

Benefits of Concealed Carry License

by Tom DuPriest

  • The Open vs Concealed Carry debate that plagued Arkansas since 2013 has, to a certain degree, been resolved by the Arkansas Court of Appeals decision of Taft v. State of Arkansas. Implicit in that ruling is that, unless an individual has unlawful intent, they may carry a firearm in either an open or concealed condition. Having said that, there has been subsequent discussion that one simply does not need a permit to carry. While in a general sense that is true, there are still many benefits to obtaining an Arkansas Concealed Handgun Carry License (CHCL). The matrix below  is intended to be a guide to those benefits. 
  • Open carry 
  • Permitless Carry = Yes
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Concealed Carry*
  • Permitless Carry = yes
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Within 1000 ft of a school
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • In vehicle while dropping off/picking up kids from public school
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Carry in certain State Parks
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Store handgun in private vehicle on private employer parking lot
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Carry Concealed across State lines**
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Obtain AR Enhanced Concealed Carry License** Which includes the following:


  • Carry into Public building and grounds
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Certain Athletic Events**
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Carry into State Offices
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Carry Onto Public University campus and buildings**
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Carry into churches***
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Carry into bars***
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • Expedited purchase or transfer of a firearm
  • Permitless Carry = NO
  • Carry Permit = Yes
  • *Common opinion of Taft v. State of Arkansas
  • ** Other restrictions may apply 
  • ***Excludes collegiate athletic events
  • **** Unless posted, written , or verbal notice given


  • Along with the court ruling mentioned above, there has been a declaration by many that there is no need to take a concealed carry class. Again in a general sense that may be true but you are still responsible for knowing and abiding by the laws and rules surrounding the possession and carrying of a handgun for personal defense. There are dozens of resources available to research and obtain this information on your own but it can be daunting and may include opinion (forums, facebook groups, blogs, etc) vs actual fact (Arkansas statues, Federal statues, etc). It is incumbent on each individual to not only know but to abide by these laws, rules, and regulations. A concealed carry class, from a competent instructor, will provide that very information. 
  • In order to obtain a CHCL in Arkansas, there is essentially a two step process: 1) Taking the State Mandated CHCL course from a license instructor, then 2) Making an Application to the State for the CHCL. Simply taking the CHCL course does not obligate and individual to make that application. At the very least, the student will learn the administrative laws and rules to obtain and keep the license, the legal justification and use of deadly force, places where carrying an handgun is prohibited, and many other relevant topics. 
  • Each individual must make the decision on their own as to what is right for them. That decision should not be based on the opinions of others, who in most cases have their CHCL (ask them!), but rather on the benefit versus risk of knowing where you can/cannot carry and when you can/cannot shoot someone (it is not as clear cut as you may think). If you choose to carry without a permit we certainly accept your right to do so. Just make sure that you educate yourself before making that decision and a competent concealed carry instructor, such as those at Shoothouse USA, can provide that very guidance and education. 


  • Tom DuPriest is the Owner and Lead Instructor at Shoothouse USA, Inc.
  • The preceding is the opinion of the author and is not intended to reflect the opinion of Shoothouse USA, Inc. board, officers, or other affiliates. It is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult an attorney before making legal decisions.