Alaska is one of the first States in the U.S. to adopt the carry laws ordained in Vermont. The State follows the shall-issue or permitless carry principle, where no license is required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed. That means a person can acquire firearms without registration -- including permit requirements for purchase or background checks in buying from a private individual.
Furthermore, Alaska is a Castle Doctrine state, which means it follows a "stand your ground" law. This legal doctrine allows a person to protect any legally occupied place and grants the use of deadly force for self-defense towards life-threatening scenarios like kidnapping, assault or abuse, or robbery. In such circumstances, using a gun for self-defense provides a person immunity against criminal and civil law.
Although the State follows such principles, there are specific regulations implemented that serve as preventive measures with regards to carrying a handgun in public, such as:
Open carry is legal in Alaska as long as the person is at the legal age (minimum age is 16). Although this regulation conflicts with the federal law -- preventing anyone under 18 to possess a firearm -- the State sets some off-limit areas such as near K12 schools and where intoxicating liquors are sold for on-site consumption. Meanwhile, the State's concealed carry regulations enable anyone at the minimum age of 21 to possess a firearm without the need for a permit.
Alaska CCW Handgun
Concealed Carry in Alaska is open to any person aged 21 years old and above that can legally possess a firearm, without the need of a permit. Since Alaska follows a permitless principle, this law applies to non-residents as well. For those seeking exceptions regarding background checks in purchasing additional firearms or carrying a firearm to other States, you must secure a Concealed Carry Permit via the Alaska State Police. You must, however, complete a state-approved Firearms Training Course to be granted.
In line with the Alaska CCW Handgun Regulation, here are the requirements you must accomplish:
- The applicant should be at least 21 years old.
- A resident of Alaska, or have lived in the State for more than 90 days.
- The person should be eligible to possess a firearm under Federal and State regulations.
- The applicant has not been convicted of two or more Class A misdemeanors (Alaska) or similar laws in any other jurisdiction within six years immediately preceding the application.
- Cleared or not under any State alcohol or substance abuse three-year treatment programs.
- Completed an approved handgun competency course within the 12-months prior to the application.
- No Physical Infirmity that jeopardizes the safe handling of a handgun.
To apply for a Concealed Carry Permit, every applicant must complete the following steps provided by the Alaska State Police. If you're a non-resident, please be reminded that Non-Resident Permits are not issued in Alaska. Meanwhile, referring to any background check exemptions, applicants can have their permits marked as NICS Exempt through filing a 12-299-89 NICS EXEMPT SUPPLEMENT form.
Here is the step-by-step process in applying for a Concealed Carry Permit:
- Complete the state-approved firearm's course within 12-months of application.
- Fill up the required application form in person at the Alaska State Police office. (Link is provided below)
- Bring the following documents upon application:
- Two sets of fingerprints
- One frontal view photo that's taken within 30 days. NOTE: The picture must be colored and showcases the head and shoulders of the applicant. Failure to comply could result in getting your application denied.
- Valid I.D. (Highly recommend to bring your driver's license.)
- The applicant will be notified within 30 days by mail whether the application is approved or denied.
Forms to download:
The Alaska Concealed Carry Permit expires on the holder's birthday in the fifth year after issuance. A person could renew its permit 90 days before expiration and pay a fee of $25. For late renewals, a 60 days grace period is provided to renew the CCW permit with an increased fee of $50. However, if the person failed to renew the license after the said grace period, the holder must undergo the application again and acquire a new permit.
In a glance:
- Permit expiration is every fifth year after issuance based on your birthday.
- The renewal fee is $25 and could be processed 90 days before expiration.
- Authorities provide a 60 days grace period if the holder failed to file on time (fee is $50).
- Failure to accomplish renewal after the 60 days grace period, the holder is required to comply with a new permit application.
For permit renewal, please fill up this form:
In circumstances where you've lost, destroyed, or got your permit stolen, you can apply for a CCW Permit Replacement. If the permit is due to expire within 90 days, you apply for a permit renewal. If not, follow these steps:
- Accomplish the CCW Permit Replacement Form
- File for replacement in person at the Alaska State Troopers or any authorized offices to accept CCW Permit Applications.
- Pay a non-refundable fee of $25.
- Bring one frontal view color photograph (criteria is similar to new applications).
License Fee Summary:
- Original: $87
- Renewal: $25
- Late Renewal: $50
All fees are non-refundable whether the application is approved or denied. You can pay using Money Order, Cashier or Personal Checks made out to the State of Alaska.
Alaska CCW Laws Summary
Must Notify Officer
Yes - Must Notify Officer
According to the Alaska Statutes section 11.61.210, a person who knowingly possesses a deadly or defensive weapon without the permission of the chief administrative officer is considered as misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree.
No Weapons Sign Enforced
Yes - "No Weapons Allowed" Sign Enforced
A permittee may not possess a concealed handgun anywhere prohibited under state or federal law. Aside from all penalties mandated by the law, violating this section is considered a class B misdemeanor.
Yes - Concealed Carry Preemption Law
The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, and, except as specifically provided by statute, a municipality may not enact or enforce an ordinance regulating the possession, ownership, sale, transfer, use, carrying, transportation, licensing, taxation or registration of firearms. Municipalities may enact and enforce ordinances that, in part, restrict the discharge of firearms, prohibit firearms in restricted access areas or municipal government buildings.
Reference: Alaska Statutes section 29.35.145
Handguns Magazine Limits
No - Handguns Magazine Limit
Alaska does not have any restrictions regarding magazine capacity.
No - Ammunition Restrictions
Alaska imposes zero restrictions regarding ammunition.
Red Flag Law
No - Red Flag Law
No - Brandishing
However, if a person commits the crime of assault by recklessly placing or causing another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury by means of a dangerous instrument is a third-degree offense.
Reference: Alaska Statutes section 11.41.210
A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, in a public or private place, the person challenges another to fight or engages in fighting other than self-defense.
Reference: Alaska Statutes section 11.61.110
Alaska Handgun Forms and Documentation
Purchase and Possession Summary
Alaska does not require a permit in purchasing a handgun -- including any background checks for private gun sales. However, it is recommended to retain any sales receipt to prove your ownership. Further, Alaska honors all current concealed carry permit marked as NICS-Exempt in exempting a buyer from necessary background checks for additional firearms.
In purchasing firearms in Alaska, there is no waiting period, along with necessary registration presented in other States. All residents who can legally possess a firearm is allowed to carry a handgun either openly or concealed. The minimum age to possess and transport a handgun is 16-years-old.
Alaska Reciprocity States
Permits Honored By Alaska
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusettes, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Other States Honoring Permits From Alaska
Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
- A person is not allowed to carry a handgun in or around any public or private K-12 schools, school buses without the knowledge of the school's administrator. The permittee can unload and lock their firearm in a car or a secured closed container.
- In or around a child care facility;
- In someone else's property without his/her knowledge;
- Places where intoxicating liquor is sold for on-site consumption;
- In a courthouse, courtroom or office of the court system or justice-related agencies;
- In correctional institutions;
- In domestic violence or sexual assault shelters;
- Places such as hospitals, universities, gymnasiums, or private property;
- And places where the federal or state law prohibits.
- A person can carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol. However, a person MUST adhere if the restaurant enforced a "No Gun Sign."
- A person can carry a gun without a permit in his/her vehicle.
- Roadside rest areas
- A person is allowed to carry a concealed firearm in the state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs.
- No law declares that a person could not carry a firearm in a place of worship.