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Alaska Gun Laws

Alaska Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Alaska’s gun laws have undergone significant changes, reflecting the evolving perspectives on firearm ownership and regulations in the state. From concealed carry permits to background checks, these revisions have aimed to balance individual rights with public safety concerns. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the key changes in Alaska’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023 in the form of bullet points:

2013 – Removal of Concealed Carry Permit Requirement:

   – Alaska eliminates the requirement for concealed carry permits, becoming a “Constitutional Carry” state where residents can carry concealed firearms without a permit.

2014 – Background Check Exemption for Private Sales:

   – The state revises the law to exempt private sales of firearms from mandatory background checks, allowing individuals to sell firearms to one another without a check.

2015 – Expanded Reciprocity for Concealed Carry:

   – Alaska expands reciprocity agreements with other states, allowing non-resident concealed carry permit holders from more states to carry concealed firearms in Alaska.

2016 – Domestic Violence Offender Firearms Restrictions:

   – Legislation is enacted to prohibit individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses or subject to restraining orders from owning firearms.

2017 – Minimum Age for Long Gun Purchase Reduced:

   – The minimum age for purchasing long guns is reduced from 19 to 18 years old, aligning with federal regulations.

 2018 – Voluntary Background Checks for Private Sales:

   – While not mandatory, Alaska introduces the option for private sellers to request voluntary background checks before transferring firearms to buyers.

2019 – “Red Flag” Law Implemented:

   – Alaska enacts a “red flag” law, allowing law enforcement and family members to seek temporary firearm removal orders for individuals deemed to pose a risk to themselves or others.

 2020 – Prohibition of 3D-Printed Firearms:

   – Legislation is passed to ban the possession and distribution of 3D-printed firearms, ensuring that these homemade firearms remain regulated.

2021 – “Stand Your Ground” Law Enacted:

   – Alaska introduces a “Stand Your Ground” law, allowing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense without a duty to retreat if they believe they are facing imminent danger or death.

2022 – Domestic Violence Firearms Ban Expanded:

    – The prohibition on firearm ownership is extended to individuals convicted of stalking offenses or subject to protective orders.

 2022 – Enhanced Mental Health Reporting:

    – Legislation is passed to enhance the reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), aiming to prevent firearm access by those deemed ineligible.

2023 – Minimum Age for Handgun Purchase Raised:

    – Alaska raises the minimum age for purchasing handguns from 18 to 21 years old, in line with federal age restrictions.

2023 – Enhanced Firearm Storage Requirements:

    – Legislation is enacted to promote responsible firearm storage, with a focus on preventing unauthorized access by minors.

2023 – Stricter Penalties for Gun Trafficking:

    – Alaska increases penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchases, aiming to deter illegal firearms distribution.

Alaska’s gun laws have experienced significant changes over the past decade, reflecting the state’s commitment to addressing safety concerns while respecting Second Amendment rights. From constitutional carry and background check exemptions to the implementation of “Stand Your Ground” and “Red Flag” laws, these changes have shaped the state’s approach to firearm regulations. As Alaska’s legal landscape continues to evolve, it remains essential for lawmakers, citizens, and advocates to engage in thoughtful discussions to strike a balance between individual freedoms and community well-being.


Currently, Alaska gun laws do not require registration or permit to purchase or carry rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns.
Although Alaska gun laws are still subject to federal gun laws, they also maintain their own unique provisions and guidelines.

In order to purchase a firearm in the state of Alaska, the main requirement is that the individual be at least 18 years of age. However, it is considered illegal to sell or transfer any firearm to people who have been found guilty of committing a felony. This statute also includes any individual who was tried as a minor, but if tried as an adult, the rendering would have resulted in a felony.

The only conditional circumstance is that if such an individual found was guilty of a felony, they may eventually become eligible to purchase a firearm, but only after ten years or more have passed since the date of sentencing. It is also considered illegal to sell a firearm to any person who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or has a mental condition that would prohibit the use of a firearm.

Possession of firearms in the state closely resembles the regulations and guidelines of Alaska law for the purchase of shotguns, rifles, and handguns. There is no proper registration or permit required to possess a firearm. However, individuals who have been found guilty on felony charges are also prohibited from possessing firearms, unless such charges have occurred in over ten years time and been dismissed.

Other regulations seem a little more unique to the state of Alaska. Under law, it is illegal to posses a firearm on school grounds–either public or private–unless given strict permission to do so by the proper officials of the school or pertaining district. The only exception to this, is that an individual that is at least 21 years of age my possess a firearm in a vehicle.

Possession of firearms is also prohibited on other public and private grounds, such as government buildings–courthouse or courtroom–day care centers, and domestic violence and sexual abuse shelters.

It is also prohibited for any place that sells any kind of liquor to possess a loaded firearm on the premises. The only people that are held in exception are the owner or lessee, and the immediate employees while being on the site of the business.

Alaska gun laws allow for the carrying of a concealed handgun, as long as the person is over the age of 21 and meets the requirements to be considered eligible to possess a firearm.

A permit is not necessary; however, permits are available for those who want to be considered eligible to carry a concealed firearm in other states. The permit is available to those who have been residents of the state for over 90 days prior to the application, has not been convicted of two or more misdemeanors in the past six years, and has not been ordered to enter an alcohol treatment or drug abuse program currently or in within the past three years.