Concealment is not a factor. Unlawful intent is a factor.
Deadly weapons may not be carried in publicly-owned buildings and/or facilities.
Three inches or longer-blade length if having intent to use it unlawfully.
There are no restricted or forbidden knives under Arkansas law.
Arkansas law provides that it is an offense to carry a “knife” on the person, in a vehicle, “or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the . . . knife . . . as a weapon against a person.” This is set forth in 5-73-120. There is no general restriction applicable to those who do not have a purpose (intent) to unlawfully employ a knife as a weapon.
5-1-102 (4). Deadly weapon (defines “deadly weapon”)
5-73-109.Furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor
5-73-120.Carrying a weapon
5-73-122. Carrying a firearm in publicly owned buildings or facilities (also pertains to other “deadly weapons”)
5-73-131.Possession or use of weapons by incarcerated persons
Restrictions on Sale or Transfer:
Furnishing a “deadly weapon,” which may include cutting instruments, to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor. It is a Class D felony to furnish any knife to an incarcerated person
Concealment is not an issue.
Restrictions on Carry in Specific Locations / Circumstances:
The State Capitol grounds, the Arkansas Justice Building, various public buildings, and schools are restricted locations. Exclusions apply to rest areas and weigh stations maintained by the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
provides for exceptions to the application of the general restrictions in various circumstances (“place of business” and “journey” exclusions):
It is permissible to carry a weapon under this section if at the time of the act of carrying the weapon:
The person is in his or her own dwelling or place of business or on property in which he or she has a possessory or proprietary interest;
. . .
(4) The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person’s checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon;
The “journey” exclusion is based on the fact that people traveling may find it necessary to “defend against the perils of the highway,” Riggins v. State, 703 S.W.2d 463 (1986). Vehicular accidents are a common peril of the highway and a knife may be a very useful tool for emergency rescue such as cutting a seat belt/harness.
5-73-120, applies to the carry with a purpose of unlawful use, of a “handgun,” “knife,” or “club,” which are defined terms. For purposes of this section, “knife”:
means any bladed hand instrument three inches (3″) or longer that is capable of inflicting serious physical injury or death by cutting or stabbing, including a dirk, a sword or spear in a cane, a razor, an ice pick, a throwing star, a switchblade, and a butterfly knife.
Arkansas law does not specify how the length of the blade is to be measured. It is also unclear as to how length is applied to a “throwing star.” This definition is applicable only to the conduct proscribed by 5-73-120.
The above-discussed definition for “knife” does not apply to sections 5-73-109 and 5-73-122 These sections impose restrictions on “deadly weapons” defined by 5-1-102 (4) as follows:
A) A firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious physical injury; or
(B) Anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious physical injury.
Exclusions are provided in 5-73-109 and 5-73-122 for law enforcement officers, security guards, correctional officers, and members of the armed forces. An off-duty law enforcement officer may not carry a weapon into a courtroom if he or she is a witness or party in a civil or criminal matter.
A person convicted for a violation of 5-73-120. may be confined for not more than one year and/or fined not more than $2,500. A violation of 5-73-122. is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by confinement for not more than 30 days and/or a fine of not more than $500.
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