Alaska’s gun laws are more lenient than those of many other states, allowing most law-abiding adult residents to carry firearms, either openly or concealed. No special permit is required. You may, however, obtain an Alaska gun permit if you are a resident who wants to carry a gun into another state.
For more information, see Gun Permit Laws in Alaska.
While Alaska’s permissive gun laws grant state citizens a good deal of flexibility, they don’t allow everyone to have a gun, or to carry a gun wherever they like. The sections that follow explain who may not own a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.
Carrying a Firearm in Your Vehicle
In Alaska, you may carry a legally owned firearm in your vehicle, whether openly or concealed, unless your mental condition is impaired as a result of liquor or a controlled substance. In addition, you are allowed to store a firearm in your vehicle if the vehicle is locked and legally parked in or on state or municipal property or on another person’s property.
If you have a gun in your car and a law enforcement officer stops you, you must inform the officer that you are carrying the firearm. The officer may then take charge of the firearm until the stop is over, or direct you to secure it somewhere inside the vehicle.
(Alaska Statutes §§ 11.61.220, 11.61.210, 18.65.800.)
People Who May Not Possess a Gun
People who have committed felony offenses. Alaska’s laws forbid the following individuals from possessing concealed firearms:
- convicted felons, and
- delinquent minors whose conduct would have been considered a felony if committed by an adult.
In addition, convicted felons are not allowed to reside in a dwelling where they know there is a concealed firearm. There is an exemption if the felon has written authorization from a court or the head of the local law enforcement agency.
The restrictions for felons and juvenile delinquents usually do not apply if the conviction has been pardoned or set aside, or if at least ten years have passed since the conviction.
(Alaska Statutes § 11.61.200.)
People under the influence. Individuals who are intoxicated by liquor or a controlled substance may not possess firearms. (Alaska Statutes §11.61.210.)
Young people without parental consent. Unemancipated minors under age the age of 16 may not possess firearms without the consent of a parent or guardian. (Alaska Statutes § 11.61.220.)
Parolees. Parolees may not possess firearms. (Alaska Statutes § 33.16.150.)
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun is Illegal
Areas restricted by employers. An employer or its agent may prohibit possession of a firearm:
- within a “restricted access area” -- that is, an area beyond a secure point where visitors are screened that does not include common areas of ingress and egress open to the general public
- within a vehicle owned, leased, or rented by the employer or its agent, or
- in a parking lot owned or controlled by the employer within 300 feet of the secured restricted access area.
(Alaska Statutes § 18.65.800.)
Schools, without permission. Guns are not allowed in schools, unless the chief administrative officer of the school or district has given permission. Although gun possession is generally prohibited on school grounds, in school buses, and at school events, a person age 21 or older may possess an unloaded firearm on school grounds carried only in the trunk of a motor vehicle or encased in a closed container in a motor vehicle. (Alaska Statutes § 11.61.210.)
In another person’s residence, without permission. You may not bring a firearm into someone else’s house unless that person consents. (Alaska Statutes § 11.61.220.)
In bars or other places where liquor is sold for consumption on the premises. You are usually not permitted to carry a loaded firearm, either openly or concealed, in a place where liquor is sold for consumption on the premises. There are two exceptions: The firearm is a covered or enclosed handgun, and an observer wouldn’t know that it was a handgun without removing or uncovering it. Or, you carried the gun into a restaurant but did not yourself consume intoxicating liquor. (Alaska Statutes § 11.61.220.)
Child care centers, courthouses, and domestic violence shelters. You may not carry a visible or concealed firearm in the following places:
- the grounds or parking lot of a child care center, unless it is a private residence (but see the prohibition on carrying guns into private residences, just above)
- a state courtroom or court office, or a state courthouse, or
- a state-funded domestic violence or sexual assault shelter.
(Alaska Statutes § 11.61.220.)
Private facilities. According to the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the owners or managers of facilities, including hospitals, universities, gyms, and other private properties, may prohibit the concealed carry of firearms while on their premises.
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
Depending on the specific offense, violating a gun law in Alaska could constitute anything from a misdemeanor to a serious felony offense. You can learn the specifics by carefully reading Sections 11.61.190 to 11.61.220 of the Alaska Statutes. If you have questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Alaska, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.