Are Tasers Legal in Alaska? What You Should Know

One of the most misunderstood and, occasionally, underutilized defensive weapons out there are tasers. Tasers occupy a unique place in the self-defense repertoire of a concerned and prepared citizen, bridging the gap between firearms and pepper spray.

flag of Alaska
flag of Alaska

Tasers are highly effective when they work as advertised, and they also give you some standoff capability which can keep you safe. And while they are legal in many places, they aren’t legal everywhere, sadly.

How about Alaska? Are tasers legal in Alaska?

Yes, tasers are broadly legal in Alaska. It is legal to purchase, possess and carry a taser so long as you are 18 years old or older and you don’t carry it in a restricted location.

Thankfully Alaska is one of many states that have an overwhelmingly permissive attitude towards tasers and other electronic defensive weapons.

They are easy to get, easy to carry and generally it won’t cause any problems no matter where you want to take it within reason.

Still, you can’t take it just anywhere, and there are still plenty of other laws that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with before you add a taser to your arsenal. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you all about it.

How are Tasers Classified in Alaska?

In Alaska, tasers and stun guns are legally defined as defensive weapons, a category distinct from knives and firearms and intended to be a catch-all for electronic weapons and sprays that are not designed to inflict death or any serious bodily harm.

Although many state statutes concerning the criminal use of weapons will apply to them broadly, concerning the purchase, possession and carry of these weapons the term defensive weapon applies to them specifically.

Check out the relevant statutes for yourself below.

Sec. 11.81.900. Definitions.

(15) “dangerous instrument” means

(A) any deadly weapon or anything that, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is capable of causing death or serious physical injury; or

(16) “deadly force” means force that the person uses with the intent of causing, or uses under circumstances that the person knows create a substantial risk of causing, death or serious physical injury; “deadly force” includes intentionally discharging or pointing a firearm in the direction of another person or in the direction in which another person is believed to be and intentionally placing another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury by means of a dangerous instrument;

(17) “deadly weapon” means any firearm, or anything designed for and capable of causing death or serious physical injury, including a knife, an axe, a club, metal knuckles, or an explosive;

(20) “defensive weapon” means an electric stun gun, or a device to dispense mace or a similar chemical agent, that is not designed to cause death or serious physical injury;

Are Stun Guns Legal in Alaska?

Yes, stun guns are legal in Alaska the same as tasers. Although the terms are often used interchangeably in conversation, and sometimes even in a legal context, stun guns and tasers are actually distinct from one another.

Stun guns are contact electric weapons that work only at arm’s length, while tasers fire probes or darts at a target and are connected to the firing unit by wires, providing ranged capability.

Can You Carry a Taser Openly?

Yes, you can. Tasers and stun guns alike can be carried openly in Alaska, no permit needed.

However, you may not necessarily open carry a taser or stun gun into a prohibited place or certain other areas just by virtue of it being carried openly. See the following sections for clarification.

Can You Carry a Taser Concealed?

Yes, you can. Tasers and stun guns can also be carried concealed in Alaska, and you don’t need a permit to do so.

However, there are certain prohibited behaviors which can borrow someone from carrying even a taser concealed.

Broadly, a person must be at least 21 years old, the device itself must be of a legal type, the person carrying the taser must inform a peace officer of the presence of the weapon upon contact with the officer, and they musn’t carry it when they are intoxicated by alcohol or any other control substance.

There are also quite a few laws we will cover in the following sections regarding the illegal carrying of a taser in specific locations.

Are there Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession?

Yes. A person must be 18 years old or older to own a taser generally or to open carry it, and at 21 years of age or older in order to concealed carry a taser.

Sec. 11.61.210. Misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree.

(a) A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree if the person

(6) knowingly sells a firearm or a defensive weapon to a person under 18 years of age;

What Do You Need to Do to Buy a Taser in Alaska?

Tasers are freely available in Alaska, and can usually be found and purchased in gun shops, sporting goods stores, and similar retailers.

Alaska law doesn’t specify that a background check must be performed in order to purchase a taser, but many retailers will mandate one specifically for tasers, though rarely for stun guns.

Also, tasers and stun guns may be purchased online or from elsewhere and then shipped into the state.

Depending on the online retailer or manufacturer, you might have to comply with their requirements for purchase over the internet.

Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership?

No. Alaska does not mandate any specialized training for the purchase or possession of a taser, and a concealed weapons permit generally is not required to carry or own one.

Where Can You Carry a Taser in Alaska?

You can carry a taser in most places in Alaska with a few specific restrictions.

The Alaska court system specifically prohibits tasers and stun guns under the broad category of electronic weapons as listed on their administrative bulletin number 85.

Alaska law also forbids the concealed carrying of weapons in someone else’s home without their specific knowledge and consent, and any place where intoxicating liquor is sold for on-site consumption with the exception of a restaurant, in or around public or private school property or conveyances without the explicit knowledge and consent of the school’s administrator, in or around any childcare facility or in any domestic violence or sexual assault shelter.

Make sure you check out section 11.61.210 yourself for more; an excerpt is below for your convenience.

Also, note that Alaska state law does not apply to any federal property, including offices, airports and military bases. In all such cases, assume that you cannot carry or possess a taser on such federal properties.

Sec. 11.61.210. Misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree.

(a) A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree if the person

(7) other than a preschool, elementary, junior high, or secondary school student, knowingly possesses a deadly weapon or a defensive weapon, without the permission of the chief administrative officer of the school or district or the designee of the chief administrative officer, within the buildings of, on the grounds of, or on the school parking lot of a public or private preschool, elementary, junior high, or secondary school, on a school bus while being transported to or from school or a school-sponsored event, or while participating in a school-sponsored event, except that a person 21 years of age or older may possess

When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in Alaska?

You can only ever use your taser or stun gun to protect yourself in Alaska if you are in fear of significant bodily harm or death.

Tasers and stun guns are less lethal weapons, not less than lethal weapons. There is always a chance they could inflict great bodily harm or death on the person that you use them against, and accordingly, you should only ever use them when someone is unlawfully threatening you with the same.

You should never, ever use your taser as a joke, to settle an argument, to intimidate someone or in case someone has only pushed or verbally threatened you.

Misuse of any taser or stun gun we’ll see you charged with serious crimes!

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