Over 190,000 Alaska residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Alaska reported 77 domestic violence related homicides from 2009 to 2015. Although Alaska doesn’t report the mechanism of death, evidence suggests firearms are a significant contributing factor. An abuser’s access to firearms can determine a victim’s chances of survival; domestic violence firearm prohibitions and removal laws save lives.
Alaska does not prohibit purchase and possession of firearms by persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence or persons subject to ex parte domestic violence protective orders. A court issuing a final domestic violence protective order may prohibit the person subject to the order (respondent) from using or possessing a deadly weapon and may direct the respondent to surrender any firearms they own or possess if the court finds the respondent was in the actual possession of or used a weapon during the commission of domestic violence and may require the removal of firearms from the subject of the order.