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Can You Shoot on Your Property in Alaska?

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Shooting on your property in Alaska is not permitted in residential homes in neighborhoods where the land is less than one acre. With gated communities or zero-lot land, things are quite different. You cannot shoot in the backyard unless your land is 1.25 acres or more and the neighbors around you have one acre or more of land. 

Can You Shoot on Your Residential Property in Alaska?

In essence, homeowners, residents, and lawful gun owners are not allowed to shoot firearms on private homes in residential neighborhoods with land less than an acre. Shooting is also not allowed at least ¼ mile from a commercial structure, residential home, or road. 

Moose running in Alaska landscape

Owning and Carrying Guns Is Legal in Alaska

Additionally, no background checks are carried out for those who want to buy handguns from a private individual. The minimum age for open carry in Alaska is 16 years and this means that most people in Alaska possess guns. 

Backyard Shooters

Alaska is a shall-issue and constitutional carry state. Alaska gun laws have some of the most permissive laws in the United States. Any individual in Alaska who is 21 years and above can legally possess and conceal carry a firearm without the need to acquire any permit. There is no permit required or firearm registration needed to buy firearms. 

Shooting on your property is only allowed if your land is bigger than an acre and the shooters are:

  • At least 21 years old and above.
  • Should also be residents of Alaska and have been in the state for over 90 days.
  • Should be eligible to possess and use firearms under federal and state regulations.
  • Shooters should not be convicted of two or even more class A felonies of Alaska or similar laws in other jurisdictions.
  • Shooters should also not suffer any physical disabilities that prevent them from safely handling a firearm. 

For those who do not have the minimum required size of property, there are several shooting ranges in Alaska to visit.

target paper and blurred shot of a gun and bullets

Target Shooting Should Not Cause Noise

If your target shooting within your property causes noise or disturbance, you will be committing a crime or disorderly conduct. An individual commits disorderly conduct crime if they intend to disturb the privacy and peace of another person not physically on the same premises when the noise is unreasonably loud or if after being informed of their conduct they still continue making an unreasonably loud noise. 

Although you can shoot on your property in Alaska, keep in mind that it is also a crime to discharge a firearm with disregard to the risk of damage to property or cause physical injury to a person. Therefore, if you are shooting on your own property, as long as the noise produced does not bother anyone and you are also shooting into backstops that have no probability of ricochets then you are within the law. 

Safety is Paramount

Even though target shooting on a big property is legal, you need to think about safety. Shooting should be done responsibly and safely. In addition, you must ensure that your ammunition does not injure or kill people or animals on the neighboring property. If you must shoot in your residential property, ensure that you are shooting into a backstop that will catch your bullets. 

Build a Backstop in Your Property

There are many ways that you can construct an acceptable backstop for shooting into. All you need to do is research extensively and you will find the best specifications and diagrams that suit your needs. There are many materials that you can use when constructing a backstop. However, sand and dirt are usually the most accessible and cheapest materials to use. 

Always remember that when bullets hit hard objects or rocks, they can ricochet in different directions. This is a major concern for you and even your neighbors. Therefore, ensure that the materials used for your backstop do not cause ricochets. 

Brown rifle laid on top of firearm bag

Conclusion

Target shooting is a fun activity for gun enthusiasts and what better way to enjoy this sport than shooting in your own backyard? However, if you are in Alaska, you must adhere to the set regulations lest you find yourself behind bars for gun crimes or noise pollution.

Take time to learn all the laws governing gun buying, ownership, and use to ensure that everything you do is within the stipulated laws of Alaska

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.