Concealed Carry Permits In Alaska Is Governed By A State Constitution
State constitutions generally govern the ability to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit, however, not all states require them. There are just a few states – like Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska – which include what’s called “constitutional carry” laws in their legal structure, and a permit is not required to carry a concealed firearm. There are other stipulations within constitutional carry, however, that demand that anyone carrying a concealed weapon identify it when in contact with any Peace Officer. Failure to do so can result in felony charges being filed. Make sure you know the laws in Alaska.
Do you know the laws where you live in Alaska, you may be able to take advantage of the streamlined application process that exists within “Shall Issue” states. The standard approval process usually includes a background check, one or more required classes, qualification with your firearm (safety and marksmanship), and paying the required fee. Currently, Utah, Nevada, and Florida are the easiest states to obtain a Shall Issue CCW.
While obtaining a Concealed Carry permit requires an application for most citizens, even when acquiring one, it doesn’t mean that it is free from restrictions. For instance, in Alaska you may only be allowed to carry a revolver rather than a semi-automatic pistol, or you may only be allowed to carry a specific caliber of firearm. Additionally, you may have to undergo testing for proficiency regarding weapon safety and marksmanship, and in some instances, your CCW permissions may be limited to the county or city where the permit was issued. Where proficiency testing does occur, it usually happens on either an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are three types of Concealed Carry in States, Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry
Although some issuers of CCWs are not as strict as others, acquiring a CCW in Alaska may not be an easy process. There are “Shall Issue” states and “May Issue” states, ( and Constitutional Carry which do not require any permit) and if your state happens to be a “May Issue” state, then the local authorities are generally given discretion as to whether they believe it should be issued or not. However, no matter which type of issuance your state’s laws command, you will still have to go through a lengthy application process. In most locales, this means a long application requiring extensive information, some may also require a convincing letter that provides justification for your need of a Concealed Carry permit, and possible an oral interview as well.
Find out how to obtain a CCW - CHL in every State by clicking here; concealed carry permits
The Alaska state constitution states: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the state or political subdivision of the State.”
Alaska was the first state to adopt carry laws modeled after Vermont's (normally referred to as "Vermont Carry"), in which no license is required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed. However, permits are still issued to residents for purposes such as reciprocity with other states. (see our Reciprocity map on our Home page of US Precision Defense)
The term "Alaska Carry" has been used to describe laws which require no license to carry handguns openly or concealed but CCW licenses are still available for those who want them. Alaska's laws do not prohibit anyone 21 or older who may legally possess a firearm from carrying it concealed. A special permit is not required.
Any person 21 years of age or older may carry a handgun concealed on their person provided that, when contacted by a police officer, informs the officer of that possession and allows the police officer to secure the handgun for the duration of that contact. If you fail to notify the officer you will be charged with a crime!
Recently the Alaska State’s Republican-led House voted passed a bill that would exempt Alaskans from following federal gun laws. Federal agents who attempt to enforce them would be subject to felony charges! If this sounds like nullification to you, that was exactly what the bill’s sponsor, Speaker Mike Chenault had in mind. In a January press conference, Chenault, a Republican, told a local reporter that individuals in his district were “looking at nullification” in response to President Obama’s executive actions. This is expected to be a test of States rights and has a real possibility of going all the way to the US Supreme Court.
The Alaska law passed the House in a 31-5 vote. But there’s a good chance it won’t pass constitutional muster, given the fact that nullification became a thing of the past in 1833, when Andrew Jackson was in office. The Anchorage Daily News reports that legislative attorney Kathleen Strasbaugh alerted Chenault to the fact that his proposed bill was “largely unconstitutional.”
Alaska legislature HB69 states, in part: “A personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is possessed in this state or manufactured commercially or privately in this state and that remains in the state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce as those items have not traveled in interstate commerce.”
The bill continues, “The authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce in basic materials does not include authority to regulate firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition possessed in this state or made in this state from those materials. Firearm accessories that are imported into this state from another state and that are subject to federal regulation as being in interstate commerce do not subject a firearm to federal regulation under interstate commerce because they are attached to or used in conjunction with a firearm in this state.”
The Alaska State Troopers issue optional CCW permits for concealed weapons. Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says, even though permits are not required , about 15-hundred people apply for and receive them each year, mostly because they want to make sure they can carry their guns across state lines. “We have reciprocity with approximately 36 other states. Where if you have a concealed weapon permit in Alaska you can travel to those other states and they will honor Alaska’s permit. The same thing with people in other states – Alaska will honor their permits if they are on the reciprocity list.”
It is estimated that in Alaska 57.8% of the population has at least one gun if not more in their home, one of the highest ratios in the country. In the state of Alaska, a permit is not required to purchase a gun, own a gun, or even to carry a gun. In addition Alaska has no state restrictions on so-called "assault weapons" or NFA weapons. Alaska has a castle doctrine and stand-your-ground laws which allow a person to use deadly force against anyone forcibly and unlawfully entering their home and attempting to harm them. The person using self-defense does not have a duty to retreat in most cases.
Learn about all self-defense laws of every state on our website US Precision Defense.