Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Preemption of Local Laws in Alaska.’ Other Laws & Policies. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 25 February
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]
Local Authority to Regulate Firearms in Alaska
Alaska has expressly preempted most local firearm regulation. Alaska Statutes § 29.35.145(a) provides:
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, however, adopt ordinances that:
- Are identical to state law and that provide the same penalty as state law;
- Restrict the discharge of firearms where there is a reasonable likelihood that people, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized;
- Restrict areas in which firearms may be sold, although businesses selling firearms may not be treated more restrictively than other businesses located within the same zone; and
- Prohibit the possession of firearms in the restricted access area of municipal government buildings (a "restricted access area" is the area beyond a secure point where visitors are screened and does not include common areas of ingress and egress open to the general public, per § 29.35.145(e)(2)).
In addition, the prohibition on taxation in section 29.35.145(a) does not include imposition of a sales tax that is levied on all products sold within a municipality. Section 29.35.145(c).
Alaska Statutes § 18.65.800(a) also restricts local gun regulation, providing that:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law…a municipality…may not adopt or enforce a law, ordinance, policy, or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm while that individual is within a motor vehicle or prohibiting an individual from storing a firearm that is locked in the individual's motor vehicle while the motor vehicle is otherwise legally parked in or on state or municipal property or another person's property.
An employer or its agent may, however, prohibit firearm possession within a secured restricted access area (as defined in § 29.35.145(e)(2), see above), in a vehicle owned, leased, or rented by the employer or its agent, or in a parking lot owned or controlled by the employer within 300 feet of the secured restricted access area.
The state, a municipality, or a person is not liable for any injury or damage resulting from the storage of a firearm in the vehicle of another individual in accordance with section 18.65.800.
In addition, section 18.65.778 provides that "[a] municipality may not restrict the carrying of a concealed handgun by permit" issued in accordance with Alaska law. Although Alaska has a comprehensive permitting scheme for the carrying of concealed handguns under sections 18.65.700 to 18.65.790, such permits are no longer required.
There are no cases interpreting the aforementioned statutes…