Tasers are a unique self-defense option, one that can give you ranged capability that’s far less likely to inflict permanent injury on someone compared to a knife or handgun.
Compared to pepper spray, a taser doesn’t depend on pain alone to drop someone. These are powerful tools, and just right for some people, but unfortunately, they are not legal everywhere.
Let’s look at Arkansas: Are tasers legal in Arkansas?
Yes, tasers are legal in Arkansas and may be freely purchased, possessed, and carried by anyone who is 19 years old or older.
Tasers are a great option for folks who can’t own a gun, don’t want to, or cannot carry a one in the places that they frequent. Tasers are seen as a friendlier tool for self-defense and less likely to cause a commotion among fellow citizens, and the law, much of the time.
Even so, there’s plenty you’ll want to know concerning Arkansas taser laws, so keep reading and I’ll tell you what you need to know.
How are Tasers Classified in Arkansas?
Tasers fall under the definition of “taser stun gun” in Arkansas. According to the state statutes, this is defined as any device that is powered by an electrical charging unit such as a battery and either emits an electrical charge and excess of 20,000 volts or is otherwise in any way capable of incapacitating a person through an electrical charge.
This broad category will include tasers, of course, and also stun guns as the term suggests. You can read the precise text of the state statute and a 5-73-133 below.
5-73-133. Possession of a taser stun gun
(a) As used in this section, “taser stun gun” means any device that:
(1) Is powered by an electrical charging unit such as a battery; and
(A) Emits an electrical charge in excess of twenty thousand (20,000) volts; or
(B) Is otherwise capable of incapacitating a person by an electrical charge.
Are Stun Guns Legal in Arkansas?
Yes, they are. Being redundant here; stun guns are strictly speaking distinct devices compared to tasers.
Yes, the two terms are often used interchangeably and casual conversation, and sometimes even in various laws around the country, but it is important to know the difference.
A stun gun is an electrical weapon that relies on close contact with an assailant to work. These have electrodes on the front which arc visibly and audibly when activated.
Tasers, on the other hand, fire a pair of dark-like probes with wires that connect the probes to the unit itself. Tasers send electricity through these wires, through the probes and then into the target.
But in any case, both are completely legal in Arkansas.
Can You Carry a Taser Openly in Arkansas?
Yes, it’s completely legal to open carry a taser or stun gun in Arkansas assuming that you may legally be in possession of one.
Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in Arkansas?
Yes, you sure can. Likewise it is legal to concealed carry a taser, or a stun gun in Arkansas as long as you possess it legally. No permit or specialty training is required.
Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in Arkansas?
Yes, there is: in Arkansas, you have to be 19 years old or older to legally buy or own a taser or a stun gun. That’s not a typo: 19, not 18!
You can see as much for yourself and 5-73-133, which specifies that no person aged 18 years old or under may purchase or possess such a device, and you can’t sell, lend, or give such a device to anyone who’s 18 or under.
Underage possession is a misdemeanor with a hefty fine, but furnishing a taser to an underage person is a class B felony!
5-73-133. Possession of a taser stun gun
(1) No person who is eighteen (18) years of age or under may purchase or possess a taser stun gun.
(2) No person shall sell, barter, lease, give, rent, or otherwise furnish a taser stun gun to a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or under.
(c) Any law enforcement officer using a taser stun gun shall be properly trained in the use of the taser stun gun and informed of any danger or risk of serious harm and injury that may be caused by the use of the taser stun gun on a person.
(1) A person who violates subdivision (b)(1) of this section is deemed guilty of an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(2) A person who violates subdivision (b)(2) of this section is deemed guilty of a Class B felony.
What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in Arkansas?
Tasers may be purchased by any person whose aged 19 or older from any retailer that sells these devices. Typically, you’ll find them at gun shops, sporting goods stores and other similar outlets…
Although state law doesn’t say as much, you might have to complete a background check or other form to take possession of a taser.
Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in Arkansas?
No. There are no required training courses or permitting processes to purchase, possess or carry a taser in the state of Arkansas.
Where Can You Carry a Taser in Arkansas?
You can carry a taser pretty much everywhere in Arkansas with few restrictions, again assuming you’re legally allowed to be in possession of it.
Generally speaking, you cannot carry your taser into any government building at any level, and this includes city, county, state and federal buildings or offices along with other installations like military bases.
Also, a good rule of thumb is that you cannot carry a taser into any school or on to school property, though Arkansas law is a little murky on tasers specifically in this regard.
And don’t forget that you cannot carry a taser into the secure or sanitized area of an airport, typically defined as the area past the security checkpoint.
When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Arkansas?
You should only use a taser to defend yourself against a threat of great bodily injury or death in Arkansas.
Although most folks think of tasers as non-lethal weapons, a better term is less lethal. And yes, that’s less lethal, not less than lethal.
Although unlikely, it is possible that a taser can inflict great bodily injury or death directly or indirectly on the target when used. This means that it’s still a significant use of force event, and accordingly you must always be justified before you use a taser on someone.
Never, and I mean never, use a taser as a joke, because someone insulted you or just because someone committed simple assault, meaning they bumped into you, through a drink on you, etc. Doing so could entail substantial criminal charges against you!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.