22 October 2014

Firearms and the State of Alaska

I've been asked to elaborate on the firearms freedom here in Alaska.

Simply put, there is no permit required for concealed carry. Open carry is okay, too; it's up to the individual's discretion. I was reading comments in one of the 1911 forums, last year, and saw a comment by a California Highway Patrolman who said he grew up in Alaska. His comment was, "Guns in Alaska are like drugs in California: everyone's got some."

That's true. It's also true that nearly everyone carries, most of the time. (Maybe not as many in Anchorage as elsewhere, but still ...) Some folks choose not to bring them to work; and some employers have banned them inside their buildings. This, of course, varies widely by employer and work conditions. State law does permit the owner of any building to post a specifically-worded sign, prohibiting firearms inside.

I've written that we can carry in City Hall. That was true when the State enacted its preemption law a couple of years ago, but the State and the courts have made it clear that they can't prohibit guns in a public building. They can (and have) posted areas within City Hall where guns cannot pass ... such as the Mayor's chambers.

Anyone who is 21 years of age and otherwise legally able to purchase a firearm can also carry concealed. We cannot carry:
  1. While intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
  2. On or in any school property or grounds, posted areas within government buildings, or any court building.
  3. In any place or premise where alcohol is sold for consumption. It is an affirmative defense, however, if possession occurred at a place designated as a restaurant and the person did not consume intoxicating liquor.
  4. In any place where signs are posted indicating the prohibition of firearms.
  5. In any private residence without the permission of the owner/resident.

In addition, the latest change to the self-defense statute is that there is no obligation to retreat; one can defend one's self "anywhere that person has a right to be."

Other than that, carry is practically encouraged. Since there are bears in many of the city parks (they tend to be near streams) and many moose, it's amazing how common concealed carry is. I've seen some guys packing so much concealed hardware that it makes the anti-shoplifting devices at stores flicker a few times as they enter.

Another example: at our church, we discussed this topic and asked how many people had - right then - knives with blades longer than three inches. Almost every hand in the congregation went up. Then we asked how many people were also carrying firearms. About three-quarters of the hands stayed up. In that group of about 120, that represented around 90 firearms in the room.

The sound man, a rather large fellow, showed me his knife after church; he was carrying a 12" bowie under his sweatshirt. I jokingly asked where his pistol was; he said he had a .454 in his truck. Okay then.

And yet no one was injured or killed. No weapons were brandished; no shots were fired. I know the anti-gunners would probably get the vapors by the sheer volume of shootin' irons ... so here we have a city of 300,000 people, with many more firearms than that. And none of us shot anyone on the way to work this morning.

To sum it up, I was standing in line at the local coffee shop the other day, and a good friend came up from behind and put her arm around my waist. I had a brief moment of anxiety as I knew she could tell my 1911 was there. She looked up at me and said, "I love men with guns."

Eat your hearts out, guys. :)


Well Seasoned Fool said...

Makes sense. In Alaska, other than bipedals, there are lots of critters that regard you as a meal, or just and annoyance.

Rev. Paul said...

WSF - yep. What we tell Outsiders is that there are lots of predators in Alaska, and some of them have four legs.

Matt said...

I've always thought that if a business is open to the public then the property owners shouldn't be allowed to deny anyone to carry on their premises, Just my opinion though. Especially now that "they" are mandating you have to serve anyone that walks through your door whether you want to or not.

This includes government offices as any one can walk in and start shooting (as Ottawa is currently finding out today) as thugs and jihadists don't read signs very well.

Same goes for churches. Back in 2003-2004, we had our worship service interrupted during the middle of the sermon by some lunatic going on about 9/11/01.

Other than scaring a few people, this person was harmless, but it could have went the other way.

It's funny in a sad way now. I felt the adrenaline dump in me as I recognized this person (a mere instant before she started yelling) from having worked with her a couple of years prior and knew she was subject to acting bizarre without notice.

Rev. Paul said...

Matt - I agree with you, but it's up to each State to regulate. It's up to the citizens to press the legislatures to act according to the peoples' wishes.

That's generally where the system breaks down.

threecollie said...

They ARE hard to resist. lol

Rev. Paul said...

threecollie, I bet you say that to all the pistol-packin' men in your life. :)

Anonymous said...

I wish we had that much freedom here in Texas.

Rev. Paul said...

DPR, I understand. And I didn't even mention the provision in the State Constitution prohibiting local gummints from being more strict than State law.

Sandy said...


One must have a CCW permit/license here. I would love to have the freedom of carrying open at any time.

Rev. Paul said...

Sandy, we only need a permit if we travel Outside, a thing which is less & less appealing to us.

It's a wonderful freedom, and we don't intend to give it up. :)

drjim said...

Lucky you!

I had a very good friend ask me the other day how much it would cost him to get his concealed carry permit.

I told him as long as he lives in L.A. County he can forget it unless TEOTWAWKI hits, and then he can carry any where he wants!

Rev. Paul said...

Jim, that's probably true ... more's the pity.

Anonymous said...

Too many snowbirds and Californies here to carry openly with impunity.
They've ruined THAT and many other things) for us.


Rev. Paul said...

Guffaw, I've only ever received one disapproving glance while open carrying - and it was a tourist literally getting off a bus. She changed her mind 100 yards later, when she saw the "Bear Country" poster at the mouth of the trail she was there to hike. :)