How to Sell a Gun in Alaska

Alaska is the country with one of the most lenient laws in the U.S. However, selling a gun in general is a significant transaction that requires comprehensive knowledge about a myriad of laws and regulations, both state and federal. It's essential to be familiar with these regulations before entering a sale to protect both the buyer and seller from potential legal ramifications.

Written by:
Isaiah Miller
June 14, 2023
minutes read
Map of Alaska

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Alaska's State Laws for Private Firearm Sales

In Alaska, neither state nor federal law requires private sellers to conduct background checks on potential buyers. This contrasts with many other states that mandate these checks. However, sellers still carry a responsibility to ensure they are not selling to someone who is prohibited from owning firearms.

Picture representing Alaska

Potential Penalties for Unlawful Sales

The lack of mandatory background checks doesn't mean a sale is without potential penalties. Selling to someone ineligible to own a firearm, dealing in defaced firearms, or selling a restricted type of firearm, can all potentially lead to a felony criminal charge. So, a seller must tread carefully.

Restrictions on Firearm Ownership in Alaska

Alaska generally adheres to federal law when it comes to selling and buying firearms. Although the state has relatively lax laws, federal restrictions apply across the board.

Legal Age and Permit Requirements

In Alaska, the legal age to buy rifles, shotguns, and ammunition is 18, while one must be 21 to purchase handguns. Interestingly, Alaska does not require permits or registration to own a firearm in the state.

Disqualifying Conditions for Firearm Purchase

There are certain disqualifying conditions that prevent a person in Alaska from purchasing a firearm. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Certain convictions
  • Outstanding warrants
  • Mental health adjudications
  • Unlawful use of controlled substances
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
  • Renouncing U.S. citizenship
  • Illegal alien status


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Federal Laws for Firearm Sales

When purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer, the buyer must complete the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Form 4473. This form documents the transaction and is maintained by the dealer.

ATF's website form 4473 - Firearms Transaction Record Revisions

National Instant Criminal Background Check System Check under Federal Brady Law.

FBI's website National Instant Criminal Background Check System

The Federal Brady Law stipulates that a firearms purchaser must undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check. This check, performed by the dealer, determines if the purchaser's background permits them to complete the purchase. If the system disqualifies a potential buyer, an appeal process is available.

Federal Disqualification Categories for Firearm Purchase

There are several federal disqualification categories for firearm purchase, including:

  • Conviction where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year
  • A felony or out-of-state misdemeanor warrant
  • Felony pre-trial release
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, restraining, stalking, or protection order
  • Mental health adjudication or commitment
  • Unlawful use or addiction to a controlled substance
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship
  • Illegal alien status

Considerations for Selling Firearms

Finding an eligible buyer for a firearm can be a challenge, given the various legal requirements and restrictions in place.

Fetching the Desired Price

Setting and achieving the desired selling price can also present a hurdle for sellers. Factors such as the firearm's make, model, age, and condition all influence the selling price.

Understanding the Laws Surrounding Firearm Sales

Finally, navigating the often complicated laws surrounding firearms can be difficult for sellers. This is where understanding both state and federal regulations becomes vital.

Selling a Gun through Consignment

To circumnavigate these challenges, you may consider selling through consignment. This process offers professional assistance to handle the intricacies of selling firearms, saving you time and potentially avoiding complications.

Exceptional Cases: Black Powder and Antique Firearms

Interestingly, black powder guns, classified as "antique firearms," are not considered firearms under federal law and can thus be possessed by persons prohibited from owning firearms.

Picture of an antique gun, with cleaning and repair kit

Possession of Black Powder for Antique Firearms

Moreover, black powder, when used in antique firearms, is not classified as ammunition. This means individuals otherwise restricted from possessing ammunition can possess black powder in quantities not exceeding 50 pounds.


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Tips for a Successful and Legal Sale

To guarantee a successful sale, make sure your firearm is in prime working condition, clean, and properly maintained. Present a thorough description of the firearm, comprising its make, model, caliber, and any accompanying accessories. Assemble a detailed bill of sale and include relevant documentation, such as receipts and warranty information. Lastly, complete the sale and transfer ownership legally by adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Upkeep and Cleaning:

Before selling, ensure your firearm is in outstanding working order and meticulously cleaned, as this can boost its value.

Photo of a rifle in a case, with ammo

Detailed Description:

While preparing your firearm for a private sale, strive to provide an accurate description of the firearm, encompassing details about the make, model, caliber, and any included accessories. A thorough description facilitates a smooth transaction with your potential buyer.

Record Keeping:

Create a complete bill of sale that protects both parties in case of disputes, incorporating details like the sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm specifics (such as make, model, and serial number). Remember to add any pertinent documents, like purchase receipts and warranty records.

Picture of a person signing a document

Concluding the Sale and Transferring Firearm Ownership:

Upon finding a legal buyer, finalize the sale and transfer the firearm ownership in a lawful and compliant manner. Follow all relevant federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.


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General Questions & Answers

How to sell a gun privately in Alaska?

Alaska permits private-party firearm sales, though federal laws still apply. To legally sell a firearm in Alaska, start by confirming the buyer's eligibility. Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms to certain individuals, including felons, individuals subject to restraining orders, and those with specific mental health conditions, among others. To assure this, you might ask the buyer to present a concealed carry permit or consider performing a voluntary background check through a local gun store. Following this, document the sale with a bill of sale, which should include details like the buyer's and seller's information, the date of sale, and the description and serial number of the firearm. This record can serve as legal protection in the event the firearm is used unlawfully in the future. 

Are private gun sales legal in Alaska?

Alaska permits private-party firearm sales, though federal laws still apply. To legally sell a firearm in Alaska, start by confirming the buyer's eligibility.

Can foreigners own guns in Alaska?

Alaska does not issue permits to non-residents. In terms of reciprocity, since Alaska has permitless carry, any person 21 years of age and older who can legally possess a firearm may carry a concealed firearm on his or her person without a license or permit.

What is the gun policy in Alaska?

In Alaska, gun laws are known for their permissive nature. The state does not require a permit to purchase or register firearms, and there is no owner license requirement. Alaska allows for permitless carry, meaning individuals who are at least 21 years old and legally able to possess a firearm can carry it concealed without a permit. Open carry is also generally permitted. While private firearms transfers do not require a background check, sales through licensed firearms dealers do. 

Do guns have to be registered in Alaska?

Firearms do not need to be registered in Alaska.

Is it easy to get a gun in Alaska?

Alaska is known as one of the states with lenient firearm laws. When compared to other states, the procedures to obtain a gun are less restrictive.

Can you drive with a gun in Alaska?

Alaska law allows anyone to possess a firearm within a motor vehicle, and the state, a municipality, or any other person cannot prohibit such possession.

Is it legal to sell a gun in Alaska?

Yes, it is legal to sell guns in Alaska. Alaska has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

Can you buy a gun in Alaska without a license?

Alaska is a shall-issue, constitutional carry state. Firearms do not need to be registered

How much is a handgun permit in Alaska?

The fees for the new permit are $88.25. Fees are not refundable if the permit is not approved. The fee for renewal made during the 90 days before the permit expires is $25.00. A late renewal may be made up to 60 days after expiration. The fee for late renewal is $50.00.

Can someone from out of state sell a gun in Alaska?

In the United States, there is a general federal rule that any transfer across state lines must go through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). That is, you cannot directly sell a firearm to another individual across state lines. Instead, the gun must be shipped to an FFL dealer in the state of the person who is acquiring the firearm. The recipient would then complete the transaction with the FFL dealer, who would perform the necessary background check.

Do you need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Alaska?

When purchasing a firearm privately in Alaska, there is no specific requirement to provide an Alaska photo ID. However, if you wish to buy from a licensed dealer, you will need to present a valid ID, pass a background check, and meet the age requirements (18 for long guns, 21 for handguns).

What do you need to sell firearms in Alaska?

In Alaska, an individual can sell a firearm to another individual, as long as the buyer is at least 18 years old and eligible to possess a firearm without any legal restrictions.

Does a gun bill of sale have to be notarized in Alaska?

In Alaska, a firearm bill of sale does not need to be notarized. The buyer and seller typically need to sign the document, but notarization is not a legal requirement.

What is the process to buy a gun in Alaska?

To purchase a firearm in Alaska, ensure you meet the eligibility requirements, such as being at least 18 years old for long guns and 21 years old for handguns. When buying from a licensed dealer, a background check is mandatory, conducted by the FBI through the NICS system. Locate a licensed dealer through the ATF website or Alaska State Troopers. Visit the chosen dealer, select your firearm, and complete the necessary paperwork, like Form 4473. The dealer will submit your information for the background check, and upon approval, you can take possession without a waiting period.

What documents I need to buy a gun in Alaska?

In Alaska, the requirements to purchase a firearm vary based on the type of firearm and whether it's from a licensed dealer or a private sale. To buy from a licensed dealer, you need a valid ID, pass a background check, and meet age requirements (18 for long guns, 21 for handguns), and residency is generally not required.

What are the rules for gun ownership in Alaska?

Alaska's gun laws are relatively lenient. Those aged 18 or older can purchase long guns, and those aged 21 or older can purchase handguns. Background checks are federally required for purchases from licensed dealers, but not from private sellers. There's no state-imposed waiting period or requirement for firearms registration. Alaska operates on a "constitutional carry" or "permitless carry" model, allowing those who are at least 21 and legally able to own a firearm to carry it concealed in public. Open carry is legal for those aged 16 or older, and guns can be carried in vehicles. While state laws are permissive, federal laws and restrictions still apply.

Are Alaska gun laws strict?

Alaska has significantly relaxed gun laws, with minimal regulations governing the sale, possession, and utilization of firearms and ammunition when compared to the majority of contiguous states in the United States.

Does Alaska have a gun registry?

In Alaska, there is no comprehensive system for registering firearms at the state level, and it is explicitly prohibited by Alaska law for any municipality to enact or enforce an ordinance related to firearm registration.

How much does it cost to transfer a gun in Alaska?

If you're purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer, a transfer fee might be involved. These fees can vary widely, typically ranging from $20 to $50 or more, depending on the specific dealer. Nevertheless, one can bypass these fees by selling their firearm directly to

Does Alaska allow private gun sales?

Yes, Alaska allows private gun sales. Private individuals can legally sell firearms to other individuals without the involvement of a licensed firearms dealer.

Can you gift someone a gun in Alaska?

Yes, it is generally legal to give someone a firearm as a gift in Alaska.

Who can't own a gun in Alaska?

In Alaska, individuals prohibited from owning guns include convicted felons, individuals with domestic violence convictions or restraining orders, those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution or declared mentally incompetent, individuals unlawfully using or addicted to controlled substances, and most individuals under the age of 18.



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As experienced and knowledgeable gun buyers, Cash for Arms provides the best market value for your firearm, ensuring you get the best possible price.



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By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.


Selling a firearm in Alaska involves understanding and navigating a complex landscape of both state and federal laws. Stay diligent and well-informed, and the process should run smoothly.


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