Alaska generally penalizes anyone who “manufactures, possesses, transports, sells, or transfers a prohibited weapon.”1 Alaska defines the term “prohibited weapon” to include any “firearm that is capable of shooting more than one shot automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”2 However, it is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this provision that the manufacture, possession, transportation, sale, or transfer of the prohibited weapon was in accordance with registration under the National Firearms Act, a federal law governing machine guns and certain other weapons.3 The National Firearms Act generally allows private citizens to possess machine guns manufactured prior to May 19, 1986 so long as they are registered.
Alaska law requires local officials to complete the forms required under federal law for transfer of a machine gun within 30 days.4
Alaska law also provides that a person may not bring a civil action for damage or harm caused by an individual for whom a “federal firearm certificate” was executed if the action arises from the execution of the federal firearm certificate by a public official with the authority under federal law to execute the certificate and the individual causing the damage or harm:
(1) is the transferee of the firearm; and
(2) at the time the certificate is executed either
(A) has a permit to carry a concealed handgun issued under Alaska law; or
(B) meets the qualifications imposed under Alaska law for obtaining a concealed handgun permit.5
A “federal firearm certificate” means the certificate required on a federal “Form 1 (Firearms)” (for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) application to make a machine gun or certain specified firearms), “Form 4 (Firearms)” (ATF application for registration and transfer of machine guns and certain other firearms) or “Form 5 (Firearms)” (ATF application for tax-exempt transfer and registration of machine guns and certain other firearms).6
See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.