There are only three ways to restore your gun rights in Arkansas after a felony conviction. Expunging your conviction under the First Offender Act, under the Arkansas Drug Court or Veterans Court, or a Pardon from the Governor.

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor that took away your gun rights, like Domestic Battery, Domestic Assault, or if you were convicted of any crime that was changed from Domestic Battery or Domestic Assault, you will also have to get a pardon unless you want to be charged with a crime, test my theory that a misdemeanor expungement restores gun rights, and hope that the judges believe I’m right. Either way, you will want to get an Arkansas misdemeanor expungement as that will make your pardon application look better. If convicted of Domestic Battery, you have to wait five years to restore your rights. Everything else, you can apply for an expungement immediately after conviction. Here is the ATF’s official position on misdemeanor expungements.

Compare the Arkansas misdemeanor expungement statute to the federal law:
§ 16-90-1417, Effect of sealing. “(a) (1) A person whose record has been sealed under this subchapter shall have all privileges and rights restored, and the record that has been sealed shall not affect any of his or her civil rights or liberties unless otherwise specifically provided by law.”
“(3) The effect of this subchapter does not reconfer the right to carry a firearm if that right was removed as the result of a felony conviction.
(b) (1) Upon the entry of the uniform order, the person’s underlying conduct shall be deemed as a matter of law never to have occurred, and the person may state that the underlying conduct did not occur and that a record of the person that was sealed does not exist.”
Title United States Code 18 §921(a)(20)(B) states:
“(B) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less. What constitutes a conviction of such a crime shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this chapter, unless such pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.”

Until you get your gun rights back, you can buy this sweet Fort Smith themed airsoft gun based on Miss Laura’s (a frontier brothel that is still in operation as a museum) from

This particular blog post is not particularly informative, but if you click on the links above it should answer your questions more fully regarding the specifics of pardons and expungements.

If you need help in Fort Smith, Van Buren, or Fayetteville, Arkansas in restoring your right to bear arms, give one of our attorneys a call or shoot us an email at (479) 782-1125 or

This is a complicated issue. This blog is not legal advice. We do not represent you.

I’ve written blogs on the two most common statutes used to expunge misdemeanors and felonies in Arkansas and they are:

The Arkansas Felony Comprehensive Criminal Record Sealing Act of 2013.

The Arkansas Misdemeanor Comprehensive Criminal Record Sealing Act of 2013.

The rest of the Arkansas expungement statutes are much rarer:

The First Offender Act (Act 346) of 1975 ACA 16-93-301.

Arkansas “Clean Slate” Provision of 1975 and 2011. (ACA 5-4-311, repealed and recodified under 16-93-314).

The Arkansas Youthful Offender Alternative Service Act.

The Arkansas Uniform Expungement Act of 1995 (repealed, don’t read this one).

The Arkansas Controlled Substances Act Discharge and Dismissal Statute (ACA 5-64-413) (Act 1994 of 2005).

Arkansas Drug Court Expungements

Arkansas Juvenile Expungements (ACA 9-27-309).

Arkansas Governor’s Pardons