Gun laws in Alaska

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Location of Alaska in the United States

The U.S. state of Alaska has very permissive gun laws, and very few regulations regarding the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition compared to those in most of the contiguous United States. Alaska was the first state to adopt carry laws modeled after those of Vermont, where no license is required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed. However, permits are still issued to residents, allowing reciprocity with other states[1] and exemption from the Federal Gun Free School Zone Act.[2] The legal stipulation that gun permits are issued but not required is referred to by gun rights advocates as an "Alaska carry," as opposed to a "Vermont carry" (or "Constitutional carry"), where gun licenses are neither issued nor required. Some city ordinances do not permit concealed carry without a license, but these have been invalidated by the recent[when?] state preemption statute.[3]

Alaska prohibits any type of carry in schools, domestic violence shelters, courts, and correctional institutions. Carrying is also prohibited in any place where alcohol is served for on-site consumption, with an exception for restaurants that serve alcohol, as long as one is not consuming alcohol while carrying. When encountering a police officer, a person carrying a concealed weapon is required by law to inform the officer they are carrying, and to cooperate if the officer chooses to temporarily seize the gun for the length of the encounter. The possession of any firearm while intoxicated is illegal.[4]

On July 9, 2010, Governor Sean Parnell signed the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act (HB 186), declaring that certain firearms and accessories are exempt from federal regulation and made it unlawful for any state assets to go toward the enforcement of federal gun laws, an act of de facto nullification.[5] The text can be read here.[6] On September 10, 2013, Governor Parnell signed HB 69, which amended and expanded HB 186.[7][8] The text can be read here.[9]

Summary table[edit]

Subject/Law Long guns Handguns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No None No
Firearm registration? No No None No
Assault weapon law? No No None No
Owner license required? No No None No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No AS 18.65.700 through 18.65.778 May carry concealed without permit, though permits can be issued for those who wish to have them.
Permit required for open carry? No No May carry openly without permit/license.
State Preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes AS 29.35.145 Municipalities may enact and enforce local regulations only if they are identical to, and provide the same penalty as, State law.
NFA weapons restricted? No No None No
Shall Certify? Yes Yes AS 18.65.810 Shall certify within 30 days.
Peaceable Journey laws? No No None Federal rules observed.
Background checks required for private sales? No No


  1. ^ - Alaska
  2. ^ Title 18 USC Sec. 922. Unlawful Acts
  3. ^ Title AS 29.35.145. Regulation of Firearms
  4. ^ A.S. §§ 9.65.155; 11.61.195; 11.61.200; 11.61.210; 11.61.220; 18.65.700; 18.65.705; 18.65.710; 18.65.715; 18.65.720; 18.65.725; 18.65.730; 18.65.740; 18.65.748; 18.65.755; 18.65.775; 18.65.778; 18.65.790
  5. ^ "Alaska State Legislature". Retrieved 2019-06-09.
  6. ^ "HB 186" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Alaska State Legislature". Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  8. ^ "Alaska House passes bill challenging future federal gun restrictions". Anchorage Daily News. 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2019-03-10.
  9. ^ "HB 69" (PDF).