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Game and Fish Commission to allow carry of handguns for personal protection

Previously, only those with valid concealed carry permits could possess a handgun while on a wildlife management area, unless there was a hunting season in which the weapon would be legal. (Courtesy: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission)

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has approved allowing people to openly carry a handgun for personal protection on any wildlife management area or Commission-controlled property or lake.

Previously, only those with valid concealed carry permits could possess a handgun while on a wildlife management area, unless there was a hunting season in which the weapon would be legal.

The regulation change, which was announced Thursday, now applies to anyone legally possessing a handgun as long as it is for personal protection and either is not employed for hunting or is a legal killing device for a hunting season that is open.

“This clarification was the result of enforcement and wildlife management staff listening to concerned citizens and working to benefit all parties,” said Col. Greg Rae, chief of the AGFC Enforcement Division.

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