Ammunition Regulation in Alaska

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

In Alaska, a state parole board may require as a condition of special medical, discretionary, or mandatory parole that a prisoner released on parole not possess or control firearm ammunition.1

Alaska does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers;
Notes
  1. Alaska Stat. 33.16.150(b)(1). ⤴︎

Background Checks in Alaska

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Alaska is not a point of contact state for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Alaska has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background checks prior to transferring a firearm. As a result, in Alaska, firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.1

Federal law does not require dealers to conduct a background check if a firearm purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meets certain conditions.2 As a result, holders of concealed weapons permits marked NICS-Exempt in Alaska are exempt from the federal background check requirement.3 (Note, however, that people who have become prohibited from possessing firearms may continue to hold state permits to purchase or permit firearms if the state fails to remove these permits in a timely fashion.)

Alaska does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. See our Private Sales policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map. ⤴︎
  2. Federal law exempts persons who have been issued state permits to purchase or possess firearms from background checks if those permits were issued: 1) within the previous five years in the state in which the transfer is to take place; and 2) after an authorized government official has conducted a background investigation, including a search of the NICS database, to verify that possession of a firearm would not be unlawful. 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(3), 27 C.F.R. § 478.102(d). ⤴︎
  3. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, U.S. Department. of Justice, Brady Law: Permanent Brady Permit Chart (Jun. 10, 2014), at: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/permanent-brady-permit-chart. ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Alaska

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Alaska does not require a permit to carry a concealed firearm. On June 11, 2003, the Governor of Alaska signed legislation amending Alaska law to allow anyone age 21 or older who may legally possess a firearm to carry a concealed firearm without having to obtain a permit.

Alaska still retained its permitting system for those who want reciprocity with other states, or those who seek to be exempt from background checks when purchasing additional firearms. For those seeking a permit, Alaska is considered a “shall issue” state, meaning that the Alaska Department of Public Safety (“Department”) must issue a permit to carry a concealed handgun if the applicant meets certain qualifications.1 The basic qualifications to obtain a permit require that an applicant:

  • Be at least 21 years of age;
  • Be eligible to own or possess a handgun under state and federal law;
  • Have been a resident of Alaska for the preceding 90 days;
  • Not have been convicted of two or more class A misdemeanors (or similar laws in another jurisdiction) within the preceding six years;
  • Not currently be in, nor in the preceding three years been ordered by a court to complete, an alcohol or substance abuse treatment program; and
  • Has successfully completed a handgun training course.2

A municipality may not restrict the carrying of a concealed handgun by permit issued in accordance with Alaska law.3

Firearm Safety Training

Alaska law requires each applicant for a permit to carry a concealed handgun to demonstrate competence with a handgun through successful completion of a course and receipt of a certificate.4

Duration & Renewal

Under Alaska’s concealed handgun permitting process, a permit expires “on the person’s birthday in the fifth year following issuance of the permit.” The department may adjust the length of an initial permit so that a permit is not issued for a period of more than five years.5

Disclosure or Use of Information

Alaska does not allow the application, permit or renewal information of concealed handgun permit holders to be made public.6 Such records may only be used for law enforcement purposes.7

Reciprocity

A person holding a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun from another state or a political subdivision of another state is considered a permittee under Alaska law.8 The Alaska Department of Public Safety is required to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states that have the legal authority to enter into such agreements so permittees may carry concealed handguns in those other states.9

For a list of states that recognize valid Alaska concealed handgun permits, see the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s concealed handgun reciprocity page.

 

Notes
  1. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.700(a). ⤴︎
  2. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.705. ⤴︎
  3. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.778. ⤴︎
  4. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.705 (referencing section 18.65.715). For additional application and background check requirements for a permit, as well as permit suspension and disqualification information, see Alaska Stat. §§ 18.65.700(a)(1)–(4), (6)–(9), 118.65.710, 18.65.720, 18.65.735 and 18.65.740. ⤴︎
  5. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.700(d). Permittees are required to apply for renewal within 90 days of the permit’s expiration date. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.725(a). ⤴︎
  6. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.770. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.748. ⤴︎
  9. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.775(b). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Alaska

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Alaska has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit. However, firearms dealers are subject to state laws governing gun sales generally. See the Alaska Private Sales section for further information.

Alaska has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Alaska

Alaska imposes no design safety standards on handguns. However, according to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), Alaska’s Attorney General may have the authority to regulate “junk guns,” as well as promulgate other firearm safety standards.1

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. The Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, Alaska Stat. § 45.50.471 et seq. (regulations are authorized under Alaska Stat. § 45.50.491). For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/targetingsafety.pdf. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Alaska

Alaska has no law prohibiting individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. Federal law, however, prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by certain domestic abusers.

Alaska law provides that protective orders issued after notice and a hearing against a “household member” for victims of domestic violence may prohibit the respondent from using or possessing a deadly weapon if the court finds the respondent was in the actual possession of or used a weapon during the commission of domestic violence.1 “Household member” is defined broadly to include former and current dating partners, co-habitants, and family members.2 Federal law also prohibits firearm purchase and possession by certain abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders.

Alaska law provides that protective orders issued after notice and a hearing against a household member for victims of domestic violence may direct the abuser to surrender any firearm owned or possessed if the respondent was in actual possession of or used a firearm during a domestic violence incident.3

In Alaska, a peace officer investigating a domestic violence incident may seize a deadly weapon in plain view of the officer, if he or she deems it necessary to protect the victim, the victim’s family, the officer or the public during the investigation.4 If a deadly weapon was actually possessed during or used in the domestic violence, the officer may seize all deadly weapons owned, used, possessed, or within the control of the alleged perpetrator.5 Firearms may be held as long as they are needed for evidence or until proceedings against the abuser have concluded. The firearm must be returned to the owner if it is no longer needed as evidence.6

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.100(c)(6). ⤴︎
  2. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.990(5). ⤴︎
  3. Alaska Stat. § 18.66.100(c)(7). ⤴︎
  4. Alaska Stat. § 18.65.515(b). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎