The right to bear arms is enshrined in the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our forefathers understood that it is essential to freedom for citizens to be able to defend themselves against tyranny. As a practical matter, many Alaskans keep guns to protect themselves, their homes, and their families, as well as for hunting.

Although federal law protects a general right to gun ownership, the federal government and the states can impose some restrictions on firearm ownership. That’s why, for example, states can require permits for certain types of weapons, or prevent people who have been convicted of felonies from owning a gun.

Gun ownership is important to most Alaskans, but being convicted of gun-related charges can threaten your ability to own a gun, as well as your freedom. If you are facing a weapons charge in Alaska, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. Gun charge attorney Eric Derleth is an Alaska native with more than 25 years of experience defending Alaskans against criminal charges, including those related to firearms.

Alaska Firearms Charges

Depending on the circumstances, simply owning a gun can be a crime in Alaska. There are several types of weapons charges on which a person can be charged in this state, including:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon
  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm
  • Sale or trafficking of illegal firearms
  • Misconduct involving weapons

Simply having a gun on you at the wrong place or time can lead to criminal charges. For instance, just possessing a gun and ammunition can be a criminal offense under Alaska and/or federal law if:

  • You have been charged with a crime in Alaska for which the maximum possible sentence is more than one year in jail
  • You have been convicted (including pleading guilty or “no contest”) of a crime in Alaska for which the maximum possible sentence is more than one year in jail
  • You are subject to a domestic violence protective order or any other court order that prohibits the possession of weapons
  • You are currently facing felony or misdemeanor charges in a jurisdiction outside of Alaska
  • You are at an Alaska residence in which there is a person who has been convicted (including a guilty or “no contest” plea) of a crime for which the maximum possible sentence is a year in jail.
  • You are under the influence of any drug that impairs your mental functioning
  • You have been committed for mental health treatment
  • You have been found mentally incompetent by a judge or jury
  • You are unlawfully in the United States or you are lawfully in the country, but you are not a citizen or green card holder
  • You have been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces

In addition, it is illegal to own certain firearms or related equipment without a federal permit, and some types of guns, such as machine guns. Selling, manufacturing, and trading certain types of guns is also illegal. Using a gun in the commission of a crime can enhance the penalty for that crime, and is, itself, a crime in Alaska.

While Alaska has some of the most lenient gun laws in the country, violating the laws that do exist could result in jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and loss of rights and freedoms. To protect yourself, you must be represented by a skilled trial lawyer.

Hire an Experienced Gun Charge Attorney for Your Case

If you have been, or expect to be, charged with a firearms offense, you need the right attorney to protect you. Gun charge attorney Eric Derleth is known as “the Trial Guy” because of his meticulous, in-depth preparation of every case. Because of his attention to every detail, Eric is often able to have his clients’ charges dismissed or reduced before trial. However, when a case must go to trial, Eric’s intense preparation and ability to communicate effectively with juries has given him an impressive record of success in the courtroom.

Based in Soldotna, Eric serves the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, Juneau, Fairbanks, and other areas throughout Alaska. Call Eric at 907-262-9164 or contact our law office today to schedule your free, confidential consultation.