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Thread: Time to start arguing Alaska laws....

  1. #1
    Regular Member mobiushky's Avatar
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    Time to start arguing Alaska laws....

    UPDATE: I misread the statute and I now believe I was thinking wrong based on BrianB's explanation below. But I want to leave this here just to show what I was thinking at the time:


    I'm in the middle of moving to Alaska, finally. So being the codes and laws geek I am I reading the current Alaska revised statutes found here:

    http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folio.asp

    I've been told many times you have to tell the police you have a gun if you are stopped. I'm not here to argue that, but I did find an interesting little quirk that I don't believe is being addressed properly. First, the Department of Public Safety has a website that says the following:

    Alaska Statutes Alaska Statutes 11.61.190 through 11.61.220 describe conduct with a weapon that is criminal. There is no prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon so long as the prohibited behaviors regarding the carry are respected:

    The person is 21 years or older.
    The person is eligible to own or possess a handgun under state and federal laws
    The firearm is legal.
    Upon contact with a peace officer, the person immediately informs the officer about the weapon, and allows the officer to secure the weapon for the duration of the contact.
    The person does not carry the weapon if they are intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or controlled substances
    The person does not carry the concealed weapon in certain places:
    In someone else's home without their specific knowledge and permission
    In any place where intoxicating liquor is sold for on-site consumption, except a restaurant and the person does not consume alcohol beverages
    In or around any public or private K-12 school or on a school bus without the knowledge and consent of the school's administrator. (weapons may be unloaded and locked in the trunk of a car or secured in a locked container)
    In or around a child care facility. (weapons may be unloaded and locked in the trunk of a car or secured in a locked container)
    In a courthouse, court room, or office of the court system or justice related agencies
    In domestic violence or sexual assault shelters.
    Alaska's laws do not apply to federal property, offices, installations, or places under federal jurisdiction. Such places can include national parks, military bases, federal court buildings, space rented by federal offices, airports, or airport terminal areas. Please consult with the appropriate federal agency before deciding if weapon carry or concealed carry is permitted.

    The owners or management of facilities, including such places as hospitals, universities, gymnasiums, or private property, may restrict or deny concealed carry on their premises. Failure to comply while on their property could violate trespass statutes.
    http://dps.alaska.gov/statewide/Perm...sing/inAK.aspx

    But the revised statute says this:

    a) A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fifth degree if the person
    (1) is 21 years of age or older and knowingly possesses a deadly weapon, other than an ordinary pocket knife or a defensive weapon,
    (A) that is concealed on the person, and, when contacted by a peace officer, the person fails to
    (i) immediately inform the peace officer of that possession; or
    (ii) allow the peace officer to secure the deadly weapon, or fails to secure the weapon at the direction of the peace officer, during the duration of the contact;
    I know, you may be thinking, yeah? so? But pay close attention to the end of the line (i) and the wording of (ii). And then compare that to how DPS states it above. Notice in the ARS it says "or" but in the DPS above it says "and". That's a critical difference. There is a difference in the logical requirements between an "or" statement and an "and" statement. In order for an "or" statement to be satisfied, any of the listed qualifications can be met. Any. For an "and" statement to be satisfied, all of the qualifications must be met.

    So the state law is that you must:

    1) inform the officer
    OR
    2)allow them to secure the weapon
    OR
    3)secure the weapon at the direction of the officer

    Meet any of the 3 conditions and you are satisfied the law. But the DPS (and btw the Anchorage ordinance also is written similarly) goes this way:

    1) inform the officer

    AND

    2)allow them to secure

    You have to do 1) AND 2) and there is no mention of 3) at all. The Anchorage ordinance adds 3) back in as an "or" option to the 2). Which means you still have to comply with 1) AND either 2) OR 3). That is a more stringent requirement under the law. Also, Alaska state law says that no municipality may enforce a law that is more strict than the state law. Which means the Anchorage ordinance is in violation of state law. But more disturbing is the fact that the DPS site is almost blatantly misleading in that it does not even acknowledge that 3) is an option. The implication being that if you do not hand over your firearm you are breaking the law, when that is not necessarily the case.

    Of course, this is the latest version of the ARS 11.61.220 that I can find from 2012. If it's been revised since, I don't know.

    Bottom line is, this is the type of technicality that we as gun owners should probably know. It may come in handy some day.
    Last edited by mobiushky; 10-11-2013 at 06:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member BrianB's Avatar
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    I read the statute differently than you.

    Using the statute quote you provided:
    a) A person commits the crime of misconduct involving weapons in the fifth degree if the person
    (1) is 21 years of age or older and knowingly possesses a deadly weapon, other than an ordinary pocket knife or a defensive weapon,
    (A) that is concealed on the person, and, when contacted by a peace officer, the person fails to
    (i) immediately inform the peace officer of that possession; or
    (ii) allow the peace officer to secure the deadly weapon, or fails to secure the weapon at the direction of the peace officer, during the duration of the contact;
    In order to commit a crime your conduct must satisfy every element of the crime. Taking only what you've posted above, the crime of "misconduct involving weapons in the fifth degree" appears (to me) to have the following elements:

    1. You must be 21 years of age or older.
    2. You must knowingly possess a deadly weapon.
    3. The deadly weapon must be something other than an ordinary pocket knife or defensive weapon.
    4. The deadly weapon must be concealed on your person.
    5. While the above are the case, you must be contacted by a police officer.
    6. When contacted by the police officer you must fail to immediately inform the police officer of that possession or you must fail to allow the peace officer to secure the deadly weapon[...]

    Since (i) and (ii) follow the sentence fragment "the person fails to", both are part of that one "element", and since it's an "or", meeting one or the other satisfies the element. When reading statutes I always treat hanging sentence fragments as if they ended in a colon followed by the list of items.

    For something like the DPS synopsis that says "you're good if" and then is followed by something with an "or", that's happy stuff - you do either one and you're good. The law however usually says "you're bad if" and in this case, the way the "or" is positioned, it reads (to me) that if you do either of those things (along with all the other elements) then you're sunk.

    That's probably way more words than was needed to convey that thought. Interested in other opinions.

  3. #3
    Regular Member mobiushky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
    I read the statute differently than you.

    Using the statute quote you provided:


    In order to commit a crime your conduct must satisfy every element of the crime. Taking only what you've posted above, the crime of "misconduct involving weapons in the fifth degree" appears (to me) to have the following elements:

    1. You must be 21 years of age or older.
    2. You must knowingly possess a deadly weapon.
    3. The deadly weapon must be something other than an ordinary pocket knife or defensive weapon.
    4. The deadly weapon must be concealed on your person.
    5. While the above are the case, you must be contacted by a police officer.
    6. When contacted by the police officer you must fail to immediately inform the police officer of that possession or you must fail to allow the peace officer to secure the deadly weapon[...]

    Since (i) and (ii) follow the sentence fragment "the person fails to", both are part of that one "element", and since it's an "or", meeting one or the other satisfies the element. When reading statutes I always treat hanging sentence fragments as if they ended in a colon followed by the list of items.

    For something like the DPS synopsis that says "you're good if" and then is followed by something with an "or", that's happy stuff - you do either one and you're good. The law however usually says "you're bad if" and in this case, the way the "or" is positioned, it reads (to me) that if you do either of those things (along with all the other elements) then you're sunk.

    That's probably way more words than was needed to convey that thought. Interested in other opinions.
    I see what you're saying. So from your reading, the "or" statement is not you have to satisfy one to be ok. It's that if you fail to any of the 3 you have committed the crime.

    I think I follow you and maybe agree. I need to think it through a little more, but I can see you point.

    UPDATE: Had a sudden thought, given that train of thought, then carrying a concealed weapon under the age of 21 does not violate this law? Maybe there is prohibition in another area of the statutes, but if you have to be 21 or older in order to apply this statute, then being under 21 automatically negates this statute? Make sense?

    UPDATE2: OK, I'm with you. I think you're right the way you explain it. Just had to take a few more readings on it. Thanks for correcting me, I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by mobiushky; 10-11-2013 at 06:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiushky View Post
    I see what you're saying. So from your reading, the "or" statement is not you have to satisfy one to be ok. It's that if you fail to any of the 3 you have committed the crime.

    I think I follow you and maybe agree. I need to think it through a little more, but I can see you point.

    UPDATE: Had a sudden thought, given that train of thought, then carrying a concealed weapon under the age of 21 does not violate this law? Maybe there is prohibition in another area of the statutes, but if you have to be 21 or older in order to apply this statute, then being under 21 automatically negates this statute? Make sense?

    UPDATE2: OK, I'm with you. I think you're right the way you explain it. Just had to take a few more readings on it. Thanks for correcting me, I really appreciate it.
    You commit a crime if you do not do either (i) or (ii).

    Therefore in order to not commit a crime you must do (i) and (ii).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobiushky View Post
    I see what you're saying. So from your reading, the "or" statement is not you have to satisfy one to be ok. It's that if you fail to any of the 3 you have committed the crime.

    I think I follow you and maybe agree. I need to think it through a little more, but I can see you point.

    UPDATE: Had a sudden thought, given that train of thought, then carrying a concealed weapon under the age of 21 does not violate this law? Maybe there is prohibition in another area of the statutes, but if you have to be 21 or older in order to apply this statute, then being under 21 automatically negates this statute? Make sense?

    UPDATE2: OK, I'm with you. I think you're right the way you explain it. Just had to take a few more readings on it. Thanks for correcting me, I really appreciate it.
    You quoted only Subsection (1) of that statute. There's another subsection in the same statute that makes it illegal for a person under age 21 to carry a concealed weapon, period. Of course, people age 18 to 20 can still openly carry a weapon, including handguns.
    Last edited by Nascar24Glock; 10-22-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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