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7.28.21 – KHBS – New Arkansas laws on driving, guns, health care and more are now in effect.

Hundreds of new laws took effect in Arkansas on July 28, 2021. Although many laws regarding abortion and transgender health care have been placed on hold, hundreds of other new laws are now in place.

Here are just a few of them:


Act 1090 bans driving on the left lane of a multilane highway except when passing another vehicle, when preparing to exit the highway on the left, when all other lanes are closed to traffic or are undrivable or unsafe. This tightens the previous rule.

Act 538 allows a driver to correctly install a trailer hitch, trailer, wheelchair lift or bicycle rack that obscures their license plate.

Act 376 requires an additional $100 registration fee for owners of “plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.” The law includes a definition of that type of vehicle.

Alcohol & Tobacco

Act 158 & Act 703 allows retailers, restaurants and small brewers to deliver alcohol to people who order it.

Act 940 allows Arkansas-based cigar shops to sell cigars online to buyers inside or outside the state.


Act 1024 makes it legal to carry a concealed handgun in many local government properties. Act 638 and Act 693 specify that city parks and sports fields are included.

Act 809 removes the requirement that an employee who leaves their gun in their car while at work must keep it in a locked container.

Act 433 repeals a ban on guns in certain parts of the state, including Benton and Carroll counties.

Act 250 loosens the rules on when a person is allowed to use physical force in self-defense.

Health Care

Act 1002 bans state and local governments from requiring masks. Gov. Hutchinson said Monday he is open to a special legislative session to change this law.

Act 977 bans state agencies from requiring COVID-19 vaccines.

Act 1030 bans state agencies from requiring “vaccine passports.”

Act 462 forbids discrimination against health care workers who refuse to participate in a service that violates their conscience.

Justice System

Act 627 extends qualified immunity to law enforcement agencies and officers employed by public and private institutions of higher education.

Act 695 makes it so if a mistrial is called during a sentencing phase, the verdict already decided by a jury still stands in a capital murder trial. Act 792

Act 792 requires law enforcement to complete annual training on when they are required to intervene when they see another law enforcement officer using excessive force.

Act 681 requires a person to serve at least 80% of their sentence if the victim was intentionally selected because of mental, physical, cultural, religious or political characteristics. Some have referred to it as a broader, less specific version of an earlier proposed hate crimes bill.


Act 420 allows victims to sue if intimate photos of them were made public without their consent.

Act 450 requires “publish-for-pay” websites to remove mugshots taken in Arkansas to be removed for free upon request.


Act 611 requires public schools to teach about the Holocaust.

Act 820 bans public and open-enrollment public charter schools from entering into any type of transaction with any person or entity who performs, induces, or provides abortions.


Act 713 makes it a criminal offense to vandalize certain public monuments or buildings.

Act 797 expands tax incentives for those making motion pictures in Arkansas.

Act 877 requires electric utilities to have an emergency plan in place during certain weather events. It also requires them to directly notify local governments of certain emergency measures and notes that notifying them on social media doesn’t count.

A full list of Arkansas’ new laws can be found by tapping or clicking this link