Handgun Shooting Basics For Women In Alaska
Shooting is most definitely a thrilling hobby, as well as a means of protecting oneself. There is an extraordinary adrenaline rush, and a sense of pride, and then you do it over again. It’s incredibly exciting. It’s important that women become comfortable using firearms in Alaska, since guns are some of the best means of protecting themselves against intruders and attackers. One of the best ways to go about turning shooting into a hobby, rather than something strictly for self-defense is to learn about recreational shooting activities in Alaska, There is Practical Shooting; IDPA shooting that simulates self-defense and real life style encounters.
There is Shotgun competitions, Then there is the extremely exciting sport of 3 – Gun Shooting where your shoot a sporting rifle usually built on an AR – platform, a Shotgun, and an semi-auto pistol. There are also; Action, Silhouette, and Precision shooting competitions. If this is not enough there are also several very specific types of shooting competitions where just Rifles and Shotguns are used.
New Women Shooters; Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun: What’s the Difference In Alaska?
It can be a bit confusing to keep these terms separate, especially when you’re in conversation with a gun expert in Alaska who just prattles on and on! When you’re trying to figure out which type of firearm would work best for your home and/or personal self-defense, it’s important to be able to make an informed decision. Here’s a quick run-down to help you out:
A handgun is a firearm designed to be handheld, in either one or both hands. This can be a Pistol (Semi-auto) or a revolver. Handguns are much more suited to home and especially for personal defense. This is what you would carry around during your daily activities if you get a concealed carry permit in Alaska. The barrel is much shorter than both a rifle and shotgun, as it’s designed to be held with one or both hands, rather than placed against your shoulder. Most pistol barrels are grooved in a similar manner to that of rifles.
Rifles and Shotguns for New Women Shooters In Alaska
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, A rifle barrel is long and has thick walls with spiral grooves cut into the bore. This grooved pattern is referred to as “rifling”. This is one of the best guns for shooting recreationally. With the proper training in Alaska and choice of a rifle such as one on an AR – Platform it can be used for both sport and home defense. Rifles are very versatile and it is highly recommended that any woman wanting to learn to shoot a handgun should seriously consider adding a rifle into her training program.
A shotgun (also known as a scattergun and pepper gun,) is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. The shotgun barrel is long and made of thin steel that is smooth on the inside to allow the shot to glide down the barrel without friction since it doesn’t have to withstand quite as much pressure. It’s similar to that of a rifle barrel. This is good for home defense in Alaska, but be careful of your surroundings. Often, the sound alone of a shotgun “Racking” is formidable enough to make an intruder think twice.
This page outlines just the very basics of the types of firearms in Alaska that may be best suited for you. Happy shooting!
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.