FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Maine Gun Laws

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Introduction

Maine is located along the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. and bordered by water on two sides, the south and east. New Hampshire borders Maine to the west, and Quebec and New Brunswick, Canada both border to the north. Maine has a population of about 1,300,000 and is the only state to border only one other state.

 

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A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Maine Constitution states:

“Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”

[http://gunla.ws/me1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Maine preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“The State intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of firearms, components, ammunition and supplies.  Except as provided in subsection 3, any existing or future order, ordinance, rule or regulation in this field of any political subdivision of the State is void.” Local governments may restrict the discharge of firearms.

[http://gunla.ws/me2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Maine will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state recognizes Maine’s license:

“A handgun carried by a person to whom a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm has been issued by another state if a permit to carry a concealed firearm issued from that state has been granted reciprocity.  The Chief of the State Police may enter into reciprocity agreements with any other states that meet the requirements of this paragraph. Reciprocity may be granted to a permit to carry a concealed firearm issued from another state if: (1) The other state that issued the permit to carry a concealed firearm has substantially equivalent or stricter requirements for the issuance of a permit to carry a concealed firearm; and (2) The other state that issued the permit to carry a concealed firearm observes the same rules of reciprocity regarding a person issued a permit to carry a concealed firearm under this chapter” [http://gunla.ws/me3]

Since there is no national carry license, as with the other states, some states are reciprocal with Maine and some are not.  Anyone contemplating reciprocal carry should check with the official list maintained by the Maine State Police at the point in time the reciprocal carry is to occur. Reference Maine’s reciprocity agreements online. [http://gunla.ws/wcv6]

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D. NFA Items

Maine permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal. CLEOs are required to sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it. [http://gunla.ws/qppw]

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E. Duty to Inform Officers

Maine does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry unless they are carrying without a permit.  If an individual carrying without a permit is stopped by a LEO, they have a duty to inform the Officer that they are carrying a firearm. Every permit holder, including a nonresident who holds a permit issued by the nonresident’s state of residence, must have the holder’s permit in the holder’s immediate possession at all times when carrying a concealed handgun and must display the same on demand of any LEO. Those carrying under permitless carry must inform immediately. Those with a permit/license that Maine honors must present their permit/license to carry and proper identification when asked. [http://gunla.ws/jw1a] & [ http://gunla.ws/rjmp]

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F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Maine permits anyone who is legally allowed to possess firearms to carry them in a motor vehicle, concealed or openly.  Long guns must be unloaded. If You are 21 years of age, 18 to 20 if in the military or veteran, and can legally possess a firearm, You are permitted to carry a loaded, concealed handgun on your person anywhere it is legal to carry in Maine without any type of permit/license. This includes automobiles. [http://gunla.ws/me4]

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G. Self-defense Laws

Maine has a Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your home or place of business. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, the commission of a forcible felony, arson, or to stop the unlawful entry into a dwelling or residence if You reasonably believe the intruder intends to inflict bodily injury against an occupant of the dwelling. However, if You do not reasonably believe that the intruder intends arson or bodily harm, You may use deadly force only if You first demand the intruder to terminate the criminal trespass and the trespasser fails to immediately comply with the demand. [http://gunla.ws/me5] & [http://gunla.ws/me6]

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H. Constitutional Carry

As of 10/15/15, Maine permits anyone who is at least 21 (or 18 if they are active duty military or an honorably discharged veteran) and not prohibited from owning a firearm to legally carry a handgun without a permit, openly or concealed.

[http://gunla.ws/me7]

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I. Criminal Provisions

Under Maine law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • In any establishment licensed for consumption of liquor, if the establishment has posted a “no gun sign.”
  • On public school property and a person may not discharge a firearm within 500 feet of school property
  • Discharging within 100 yards of a residential dwelling, absent permission by the owner or adult occupant
  • Any place where federal law prohibits the carrying
  • Possession while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, or both
  • While in a courthouse
  • State Parks
  • Acadia National Park
  • State Capitol area
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries
  • Labor disputes and strikes
  • Baxter State Park
  • Allagash Wilderness Waterway

For a list of places where carrying a firearm is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/me8]

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J. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

Yes. If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass. [http://gunla.ws/47ee]

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K. Carry in Restaurants The Serve Alcohol

Yes, if not posted. You are prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm into an establishment that is licensed for on-premises consumption of liquor and has a sign posted to prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms. Failure to comply may result in a 5-year suspension of Your eligibility to apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Maine. [http://gunla.ws/y7i9]

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L. Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Maine. Places listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. Open carry is prohibited in State Parks and in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The state preempts all firearm laws in the state and local authorities cannot have laws/ordinances against open carry. Remember that if you enter any property and the owner/responsible person asks you to leave, you must leave. Failure to leave can result in trespass charges. The minimum age for open carry is 18.

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More