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Alaska Gun Control Laws

Gun control is a hotly debated topic in the United States. Advocates raise the issue of mass shootings and the level of firearm use in cases of suicide and homicide. Opponents focus on the right to bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the middle are those who find that responsible gun ownership and public safety can coexist.

In 2022, Congress passed and President Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. It was the first new federal gun control proposal to become law since 1994. The law expanded background checks through the federal NICS program and local systems for the purchase of firearms by persons under 21 years old. It created federal crimes for gun trafficking and straw purchases, where a third party purchases a firearm for a person otherwise prohibited by law from possession. 

The act required private sellers who engage in gun sales predominantly for profit to obtain a federal firearms license. Finally, it provided significant funding for state programs focused on mental health intervention, including support for systems implementing red flag laws. Alaska's Senator Lisa Murkowski was a key vote in support of the law.

Alaska Gun Control Laws at a Glance

Although there are important federal laws that regulate gun purchases and ownership, most gun control laws occur at the state level. In Alaska, gun laws reflect minimal regulation of ownership, use, or possession of a firearm. In general, Alaska gun laws are less restrictive than those of many other states. 

For example, the state of Alaska does not require a waiting period for gun buyers. Instant background checks are required when a purchase occurs through a federally licensed firearms dealer. If a purchase occurs through a private sale, there is no background check requirement.

Alaska provides for permitless carry of concealed weapons for otherwise law-abiding gun owners. Residents who are not prohibited by state or federal law may carry a concealed firearm in most public places, with certain excepted locations. These include:

  • Private residences, unless the owner provides consent
  • Businesses where liquor is sold for consumption on the premises, with some exceptions
  • On the grounds or in an adjacent parking lot of a childcare facility
  • Courtrooms and courthouses
  • Domestic violence or sexual assault shelters
  • Within the buildings, grounds, or adjacent parking lots of a public or private preschool, elementary school, junior high school, or secondary school, or in a school bus, without the permission of the chief administrative officer of the school or district or their designee
  • Anywhere a person is prohibited from possessing a handgun under state or federal law

Although law-abiding residents do not have to secure a state permit or license to carry, many choose to do so for purposes of reciprocity with other states that require such a license. The Department of Public Safety oversees the Alaska Concealed Handgun Permit process. 

Alaska is a "shall issue" state, meaning that if an applicant meets objective criteria set forth in state law the government shall issue the concealed carry permit. In situations where a person carrying a concealed firearm comes into contact with a police officer, they must notify the officer that they have the firearm and allow the officer to secure the weapon during the contact.

The minimum age to own or possess a firearm in Alaska is 16 unless you are an emancipated minor or have the permission of a parent or guardian. Alaska provides that a person who legally may possess a firearm may also do so in a motor vehicle. It prohibits a municipality from passing an ordinance, policy, or rule that has the effect of prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm while in a motor vehicle or storing a firearm in a locked motor vehicle in a place they can legally park.

Additional details of Alaska's gun control laws are listed below. See Gun Laws for related information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Alaska Statutes Title 11. Criminal Law Section 11.61

Illegal Arms

It is illegal to manufacture, possess, transport, sell, or transfer the following weapons or devices unless permitted under federal law:

  • A device made or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm
  • A fully automatic firearm
  • A rifle with a barrel length of less than 16 inches
  • A shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches or a firearm made from a rifle or shotgun which, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches

Waiting Period


Who May Not Own

In addition to the Federal law prohibitions, you can't own a firearm in Alaska if you are:

  • Under 16 years old, unless you have the permission of a parent or guardian
  • Have a felony conviction or juvenile adjudication for a felony, unless:
    • You received a pardon,
    • The conviction has been set aside, or
    • It has been 10 years since an unconditional discharge

License Required?


Concealed Carry License Required?


Open Carried Allowed?

Yes. Alaska has no law prohibiting open carry of a firearm by someone otherwise lawfully in possession.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

You don't need a license to carry a concealed weapon in Alaska if you are 21 years old or older. The state maintains a license process to aid with reciprocity from other states. To obtain a concealed carry license, you must:

  • Be a resident of Alaska for the 90 days prior to your application.
  • Apply in person at the office of the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, or local police department, providing fingerprints and a photo
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Complete an approved handgun course
  • Not be convicted of a felony (with some exceptions) or be prohibited under federal law
  • If approached by a law enforcement officer, immediately notify them of the fact you are carrying a weapon and follow their directions to secure the weapon

Machine Gun Laws

It's illegal to own a machine gun in Alaska unless you can show it is legally registered in compliance with federal laws.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

Illegal firearm possession is considered a:

(1)Class C felony if a person:
  • Possesses a firearm after a felony conviction
  • Sells/transfers a firearm to a person whose mental condition is substantially impaired due to intoxication
  • Sells a firearm to a person with a felony
  • Sells/possesses/manufactures a prohibited weapon
  • Removes, destroys, or alters a serial number on a firearm with the intent to make it untraceable
  • Trespasses with a firearm while impaired due to liquor or drugs
  • Trespasses or communicates in violation of a protection order with a firearm
  • Who is convicted of a felony resides in a dwelling knowing there is a firearm capable of being concealed on one's person (or a prohibited weapon) in the dwelling, without getting approval from a court or head of a law enforcement agency
  • Who discharges a firearm from a propelled vehicle
A Class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison; a fine of up to $50,000; or both.

(2) Class A misdemeanor if a person sells a firearm to another person under 18 years of age. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail; a fine of up to $25,000; or both.

(3) Class B misdemeanor if a person knowingly possesses a loaded firearm on their person in any place where intoxicating liquor is sold for consumption on the premises. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail; a fine of up to $2,000; or both.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

  • It is a Class B felony to possess a firearm on or near school grounds or a childcare facility after a felony conviction. A Class B felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison; a fine of up to $100,000; or both. See Section 11.61.195(a)(2)(A).
  • It is a Class B misdemeanor to possess a firearm on the grounds of a licensed childcare facility. See Section 11.61.220(a)(4)(A). A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail; a fine of up to $2,000; or both.
  • It is a Class A misdemeanor if someone knowingly possesses a deadly weapon on school grounds. See Section 11.61.210. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail; a fine of up to $25,000; or both.

Red Flag Law?

No. Alaska does not have a Red Flag law.

Universal Background Checks?


Stand Your Ground Law?

Yes. Alaska passed a "Stand Your Ground" law in 2013. It expanded upon the Castle doctrine which allowed the use of deadly force in self-defense of one's home. State law allows the use of deadly force without retreat by a person who is in any place that they have a right to be. (See AS 11-81-335(b)(5).)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in higher courts that include federal decisions, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of the state law(s) you are reviewing.

Related Resources

Charged With a Gun Crime in Alaska?

If you face state or federal gun charges, you should consider seeking legal advice to protect yourself and your right to own or possess a firearm. Start by calling a local criminal defense attorney — you can find a qualified attorney through our directory.

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