Castle Doctrine

The laws governing the legal use, storage, carrying and transporting of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of as of 7/12/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to the State of Alaska legislation at legis.state.ak.us.  If you have any specific questions concerning Castle Doctrine/self-defense laws in any state, American Firearms Training recommends contacting an attorney.

The Castle Doctrine (also known as Castle Law, Defense of Habitat Law)  are all state legal defense laws that gives citizens in their homes/abode, and in some states, cars or workplaces the right to protect themselves, other people, and their property by force, in some instances even deadly force without the consequences of legal and civil responsibility or criminal persecution. A Castle Doctrine also states that a person has no “duty of retreat” (avoid the conflict at all cost) when one’s home/abode is under attack.

The State of Alaska does have a Castle Doctrine variation.  This law can be viewed below.

AS 11.81.335 – 11.81.350

Sec. 11.81.335. Justification: Use of deadly force in defense of self.
(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, a person who is justified in using nondeadly force in self-defense under AS 11.81.330 may use deadly force in self-defense upon another person when and to the extent the person reasonably believes the use of deadly force is necessary for self-defense against
(1) death;

(2) serious physical injury;

(3) kidnapping, except for what is described as custodial interference in the first degree in AS 11.41.320 ;

(4) sexual assault in the first degree;

(5) sexual assault in the second degree;

(6) sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree; or

(7) robbery in any degree.

(b) A person may not use deadly force under this section if the person knows that, with complete personal safety and with complete safety as to others being defended, the person can avoid the necessity of using deadly force by leaving the area of the encounter, except there is no duty to leave the area if the person is
(1) on premises
(A) that the person owns or leases;
(B) where the person resides, temporarily or permanently; or
(C) as a guest or express or implied agent of the owner, lessor, or resident;

(2) a peace officer acting within the scope and authority of the officer's employment or a person assisting a peace officer under AS 11.81.380;

(3) in a building where the person works in the ordinary course of the person's employment; or

(4) protecting a child or a member of the person's household.

Sec. 11.81.340. Justification: Use of force in defense of a third person.
A person is justified in using force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary to defend a third person when, under the circumstances as the person claiming defense of another reasonably believes them to be, the third person would be justified under AS 11.81.330 or 11.81.335 in using that degree of force for self-defense.

Sec. 11.81.350. Justification: Use of force in defense of property and premises.
(a) A person may use nondeadly force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary to terminate what the person reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission by the other of an unlawful taking or damaging of property or services.

(b) A person may use deadly force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it necessary to terminate what the person reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of arson upon a dwelling or occupied building.

(c) A person in possession or control of any premises, or a guest or an express or implied agent of that person, may use
(1) nondeadly force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary to terminate what the person reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission by the other of criminal trespass in any degree upon the premises;
(2) deadly force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary to terminate what the person reasonably believes to be a burglary in any degree occurring in an occupied dwelling or building.

(e) A person
(1) in a vehicle, or forcibly removed from a vehicle, may use deadly force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary to terminate what the person reasonably believes to be a carjacking of that vehicle at or about the time the vehicle is carjacked;
(2) outside of a vehicle may use deadly force upon another when and to the extent the person reasonably believes it is necessary to terminate what the person reasonably believes to be the theft of that vehicle when another person, other than the perceived offender, is inside of the vehicle; this paragraph does not apply to a person outside of a vehicle who is involved in a dispute with a person inside of the vehicle who is a household member of that person; in this paragraph, "household member" has the meaning given in AS 18.66.990 .

(f) A person justified in using force under this section does not have a duty to leave or attempt to leave the area of the encounter before using force.

(g) In (e) of this section,
(1) "carjacking" means a robbery involving the taking or attempted taking of a vehicle from a person in possession of the vehicle;
(2) "vehicle" means a "motor vehicle" as defined in AS 28.40.100 , an aircraft, or a watercraft.

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