Alaska’s hate and gun laws have very significant gaps that allow people to keep and access firearms, including assault weapons, after they have been convicted of violent hate crimes.
Access to Guns for People Convicted of Hate Crimes in Alaska
|Violence with Severe Bodily Injury||Violence with Bodily Injury||Other Crimes Involving Intentional Use of Force||Threats with Deadly Weapons|
Other Credible Threats to Physical Safety
|Federal Law||Very limited or no access||Very limited or no access||Some access||Some access|
|State Law||Significant access||Significant access||Significant access||Significant access|
Alaska law makes hate motivation a factor in criminal sentencing for felonies,1 which are already generally firearm-prohibiting under federal law.2(Sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity are not included as protected categories). Alaska also makes it a misdemeanor to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person to interfere with the exercise of their legal and constitutional rights.3 However, Alaska does not prohibit people from accessing firearms on these bases.
Alaska’s gun safety laws prohibit people convicted of felonies from accessing “concealable firearms” (handguns) only, while placing no limitations on such individuals’ access to long guns such as assault rifles,4 even if they have been convicted of the most violent offenses like murder. Alaska law also places no limitations on firearm access by people convicted of violent misdemeanors.
Because Alaska classifies most violent offenses as felonies punishable by more than one year in prison (including most assaults involving physical injury or violent threats),5 most people convicted of violent hate crimes in Alaska are subject to federal firearm restrictions. State and local law enforcement resources are likely not actively involved in enforcing these federal protections, however.
People convicted of violent hate-motivated misdemeanors in Alaska are generally eligible to access any type of weapon under both Alaska and federal law, including people convicted of violently interfering with another person’s constitutional rights,6 and those convicted of recklessly causing physical injury or placing a victim in fear of imminent physical injury.7
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- Alaska Stat. § 12.55.155(c)(22).
- 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1); 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20)(B).
- Alaska Stat. § 11.76.110.
- Alaska Stat. § 11.61.200(a)(1). The prohibition lasts indefinitely if a person is convicted of a felony “offense against the person.” Alaska Stat. § 11.61.200(b)(1)(C). However, for all other offenses, the prohibition generally only applies for ten years following a person’s release from all sentence requirements such as probation and parole. Alaska Stat. § 11.61.200(b)(1)(C).
- See, e.g., Alaska Stat. §§ 11.41.200 — 11.41.289.
- Alaska Stat. § 11.76.110.
- Alaska Stat. § 11.41.230.