See our Preemption of Local Laws policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Alaska has expressly preempted most local firearm regulation. Section 29.35.145(a) of Alaska Statutes provides:
The authority to regulate firearms and knives 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 and knives.
Section 29.35.145(b) specifically allows municipalities to enact and enforce 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
- Prohibit the possession of firearms in the restricted access area of municipal government buildings1
In addition, section 29.35.145(c) provides that 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.
As of the date this page was last updated, Giffords Law Center is not aware of any significant case law interpreting these statutes.
Other Statutory Provisions
Firearms in Motor Vehicles
Alaska generally preempts municipalities from prohibiting the possession or storage of firearms in motor vehicles.2
However, an employer or its agent may prohibit firearm possession within a secured restricted access area3, 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.4
In addition, the state of Alaska, 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 18.65.800.5
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.6
For state laws prohibiting certain types of lawsuits against the gun industry, see our page on Immunity Statutes in Alaska.
- 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. Alaska Stat. § 29.35.145(e)(2). ⤴︎
- Alaska Stat. § 18.65.800(a). ⤴︎
- as defined in § 29.35.145(e)(2). See supra note 1. ⤴︎
- Alaska Stat. § 18.65.800(d). ⤴︎
- Alaska Stat. § 18.65.800(c). ⤴︎
- Though Alaska no longer requires a permit to carry a concealed handgun, Alaska retained its permitting system for those who want reciprocity with other states, or those who seek to be exempt from background checks when purchasing additional firearms. See Alaska Stat. §§ 18.65.700 to 18.65.790. ⤴︎