Monday, January 28, 2013

Alaska Concealed Carry and Open Carry law

With the recent controversy over the type of weapons used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, it is appropriate to review Alaska’s firearms carry laws.

Alaska residents 21 years of age or older may carry a concealed firearm without prohibition with the following provisos:
The person is 21 years or older.
The person is eligible to own or possess a handgun under state and federal laws The firearm is legal.
Upon contact with a peace officer, the person immediately informs the officer about the weapon, and allows the officer to secure the weapon for the duration of the contact.
The person does not carry the weapon if they are intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or controlled substances
The person does not carry the concealed weapon in certain places:
In someone else's home without their specific knowledge and permission
In any place where intoxicating liquor is sold for on-site consumption, except a restaurant and the person does not consume alcohol beverages
In or around any public or private K-12 school or on a school bus without the knowledge and consent of the school's administrator. (weapons may be unloaded and locked in the trunk of a car or secured in a locked container)
In or around a child care facility. (weapons may be unloaded and locked in the trunk of a car or secured in a locked container)
In a courthouse, court room, or office of the court system or justice related agencies
In domestic violence or sexual assault shelters.
Alaska's laws do not apply to federal property, offices, installations, or places under federal jurisdiction. Such places can include national parks, military bases, federal court buildings, space rented by federal offices, airports, or airport terminal areas. Please consult with the appropriate federal agency before deciding if weapon carry or concealed carry is permitted.
The owners or management of facilities, including such places as hospitals, universities, gymnasiums, or private property, may restrict or deny concealed carry on their premises. Failure to comply while on their property could violate trespass statutes.
Municipalities may not prohibit or limit concealed carry beyond any statutory restrictions under AS 18.65.

Alaska’s concealed handgun firearms permit

Alaska does have a formal concealed handgun carry permit process. AS 18.65.700 through AS 18.65.790 govern Alaska’s concealed handgun permit program. 13 AAC 30 comprises the regulations for the concealed permit program. Although, Alaska law does not require a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed firearm, the concealed carry permit allows reciprocity with other States that have concealed carry permits as their only legal mechanism for carrying concealed. The Alaska concealed carry permit is a good idea if one travels Outside on business or for vacation and one is traveling to a State that has reciprocity with Alaska’s concealed carry law.

Having an Alaska Concealed Carry Permit does not mean that you will have the same rights as you would in Alaska when you travel to another State, as you have to meet the provisions of the law in that State regarding carry. Make sure that you review the concealed carry laws of the State you are intending to visit and ensure that transportation of your pistol meets federal and State transportation requirements as to packaging and locks. You will need to notify the airline of your intent to ship a firearm as part of your baggage in advance of the day of travel. Each airline may have differing requirements, so make certain you contact the airline with sufficient time to prevent any misunderstandings.

If you feel you need to apply for a concealed carry permit, you will need to complete and pass a concealed carry firearms course conducted by a qualified instructor, be finger printed, undergo a National Instant Criminal Check (NICS), and complete the state permit application. You must be 21 years of age, a resident, and be physically and mentally capable of using the firearms safely. Completion of the approved handgun carry course may be accomplished up to a year before submitting the application (13AAC30.070(a)).You can apply in person to any office of the Alaska State Troopers. The Dept. of Public Safety maintains a list of qualified instructors on their website. The URL for the DPS website is given below.

Even if you do not intend to apply for the concealed handgun permit issued by the State of Alaska, it is a good idea to take the course from an approved firearms instructor. The concealed carry course offers hands on firearms training and an overview of Alaska law. If you can pass the concealed handgun permit test given by the firearms instructor, you will have a good understanding of the law regarding the defensive use of a firearm.

Open carry

Most Alaska jurisdictions have few restrictions on open carry. Open carry restrictions with respect to where you can carry are the same as the concealed carry restrictions.

AS 11.61.190 through AS 11.61.200 define misconduct with a weapon.

For more information:

Department of Public Safety Alaska Concealed Handgun website

List of States with which Alaska has reciprocity

Firearms ownership or possession

DPS concealed firearms permit contact information

Concealed Handgun Permits information and application forms

Restrictions as to where you can concealed carry in Alaska

List of approved finger printers

Alaska concealed handgun permit statutes and regulations

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