Gun Control In Alaska

Gun Control in Alaska: A Look at the Laws and Regulations

Gun control is a hotly debated topic in the United States, pitting impassioned defenses of the Second Amendment against public safety concerns. Most gun control laws originate at the state level, but some federal laws regulate gun purchases and ownership. Some states require gun buyers to wait a certain period before taking ownership of a gun, during which a background check is conducted. Other states have as few restrictions as possible.

Alaska Gun Control Laws at a Glance

Alaska’s gun laws are generally less restrictive than those of many other states. For example, the state of Alaska does not require a waiting period for gun buyers, but instant background checks are required for most purchases.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Alaska Statutes Title 11. Criminal Law Section 11.61

  • Section 11.61.220: Misconduct involving weapons in the fifth-degree
  • Section 11.61.200: Misconduct involving weapons in the third degree
  • Section 11.61.195: Misconduct involving weapons in the second-degree

Illegal Arms

You can’t possess the following firearms in Alaska unless you have a federal permit:

  • A device made or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm
  • A fully automatic firearm
  • A rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches
  • A shotgun with a barrel 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 Possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of the above firearms is illegal.

Waiting Period


Who May Not Own

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

  • Under 21 years old
  • Have a felony conviction unless:
    • You received a pardon,
    • The conviction has been set aside, or
    • It has been 10 years since an unconditional discharge
  • An adjudicated delinquent minor convicted for conduct constituting a felony if committed by an adult
See also  Alaska Gun Permit

License Required?


Concealed Carry License Required?


Open Carried Allowed?


Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

You don’t need a license to carry a concealed weapon in Alaska. But to carry a concealed handgun you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • If approached by police, immediately notify them of the fact you are carrying a weapon and follow their directions to secure the weapon
  • Not be convicted of a felony (with some exceptions)

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:

  • Class C felony if a person:
    • Possesses a weapon after a felony conviction
    • Sells/transfers a weapon to a person whose mental condition is substantially impaired due to intoxication
    • Sells a weapon to a person with a felony
    • Sells/possesses/manufactures a prohibited weapon
  • Class A misdemeanor if a person sells a firearm to another person under 18 years of age
  • Class B misdemeanor if an intoxicated person knowingly possesses a loaded firearm in any place where intoxicating liquor is sold for consumption on the premises

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

  • 11.61.195(a)(2)(A): It is a felony to possess a firearm on or near school grounds after a felony conviction.
  • 11.61.220(a)(4)(A): It is a misdemeanor to possess a firearm on the grounds of a licensed childcare facility
  • 11.61.210: It is a Class A misdemeanor if someone knowingly possesses a deadly weapon on school grounds.

State laws are always changing, usually when newly signed legislation is enacted or through the decisions of higher courts. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact an Alaska criminal defense attorney or conduct your legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

See also  Alaska Hunting


In conclusion, Alaska’s approach to gun control differs significantly from many other states. With no waiting period, no license required for ownership, and open carry allowed, Alaska takes a unique stance on firearm regulation. However, it’s essential to understand that there are still federal and state laws in place to prevent certain individuals, such as felons, from owning firearms. Additionally, Alaska prohibits the possession of specific illegal arms, including fully automatic firearms and short-barreled rifles or shotguns.

For the most up-to-date information on Alaska’s gun control laws, it is advisable to consult with legal experts or stay informed about any legislative changes.


  1. Are there any waiting periods for purchasing firearms in Alaska?
    • No, Alaska does not have a waiting period for gun buyers.
  2. Is a concealed carry license required in Alaska?
    • No, Alaska does not require a concealed carry license for carrying a concealed weapon.
  3. Can I openly carry a firearm in Alaska?
    • Yes, open carry is allowed in Alaska.
  4. What are the penalties for illegal firearm possession in Alaska?
    • Penalties range from Class C felonies to Class B misdemeanors, depending on the circumstances, such as selling a firearm to a minor or possessing a loaded firearm while intoxicated.
  5. Are there any firearms that are illegal to possess in Alaska?
    • Yes, certain firearms, including fully automatic firearms and short-barreled rifles or shotguns, are illegal to possess in Alaska without a federal permit.
  6. Does Alaska have gun control?
    • Alaska has relatively relaxed gun laws compared to some other states, with no licensing or registration requirements for firearms. Regulations include background checks for all purchases, open and concealed carry rights with permits and restrictions only on weapons like automatic firearms and guns with silencers. But in general, Alaska emphasizes the rights of responsible gun owners rather than strict limitations or prohibitions.
  7. What weapons are illegal in Alaska?
    • Alaska prohibits civilian possession of fully automatic firearms, silencers, switchblade knives, explosives/destructive devices, sawed-off shotguns/rifles under certain barrel lengths, and undetectable firearms made entirely from non-metal substances. However, Alaska gun laws otherwise emphasize the rights of responsible gun owners rather than general prohibitions.
  8. How many people own a gun in Alaska?
    • Alaska has exceptionally high rates of gun ownership, with surveys estimating 60-65% of Alaskan adults personally own firearms – about double the overall U.S. gun ownership rate. Over 70% of Alaskan households possess guns as well. This widespread gun culture is tied to Alaska’s heritage of hunting, recreation, and self-reliance in frontier areas.
See also  Alaska Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

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