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Maine Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in Maine

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Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

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

Concealed Carry

Maine is a shall-issue state, meaning concealed carry permits must be issued to each qualified applicant. Permits are valid for four years at an original fee of $35 and are issued by municipal officials. Applicants must undergo a background check and questionnaire. For persons who have been residents of Maine for at least five years, permits are issued within 30 days. For residents of fewer than five years, it can take up to 60 days for permits to be issued.

In addition to persons barred from possessing guns by federal law, Maine does not issue permits to anyone who doesn’t fall into a category of “good moral character.” Applicants in good moral character are considered to be, among other things, those who haven’t been convicted of family abuse, convicted of three or more crimes punishable by less than one year, convicted of drug violations or found to have been engaged in reckless or negligent conduct within the past five years.

Maine permits are honored by the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.

Maine honors permits from no other state.

Castle Doctrine

Maine’s castle law, revised in 2007, allows for the use of deadly force in defense of person and property when it is believed that it is necessary to prevent a criminal from committing a crime on one’s property or inside their home. Maine does not have a duty to retreat. However, deadly force is justified only after the victim has warned the intruder and given him an opportunity to leave the home or property.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Open carry is permissible in Maine. However, guns concealed in the glove box of a motor vehicle are considered concealed. Unless a person has a valid concealed carry permit, he cannot carry weapons in a motor vehicle or trailer pulled by a vehicle that are ready to fire (i.e. with a shell in the chamber).

Maine has a firearms preemption law that prevents city and county governments from enacting gun laws that are stricter than state law. The state also has a law to protect firing ranges.

Restrictions

Gun bans: None.

Waiting periods for gun purchases: No.

License or permit to purchase guns: No.

Registration of guns: No.

Places in Maine where firearms cannot be carried, with or without a permit, include:

  • Courtrooms
  • Jails
  • Labor strike sites
  • Places that serve alcohol
  • Schools

Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

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

Concealed Carry

Maine is a shall-issue state, meaning concealed carry permits must be issued to each qualified applicant. Permits are valid for four years at an original fee of $35 and are issued by municipal officials. Applicants must undergo a background check and questionnaire. For persons who have been residents of Maine for at least five years, permits are issued within 30 days. For residents of fewer than five years, it can take up to 60 days for permits to be issued.

In addition to persons barred from possessing guns by federal law, Maine does not issue permits to anyone who doesn’t fall into a category of “good moral character.” Applicants in good moral character are considered to be, among other things, those who haven’t been convicted of family abuse, convicted of three or more crimes punishable by less than one year, convicted of drug violations or found to have been engaged in reckless or negligent conduct within the past five years.

Maine permits are honored by the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Vermont.

Maine honors permits from no other state.

Castle Doctrine

Maine’s castle law, revised in 2007, allows for the use of deadly force in defense of person and property when it is believed that it is necessary to prevent a criminal from committing a crime on one’s property or inside their home. Maine does not have a duty to retreat. However, deadly force is justified only after the victim has warned the intruder and given him an opportunity to leave the home or property.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Open carry is permissible in Maine. However, guns concealed in the glove box of a motor vehicle are considered concealed. Unless a person has a valid concealed carry permit, he cannot carry weapons in a motor vehicle or trailer pulled by a vehicle that are ready to fire (i.e. with a shell in the chamber).

Maine has a firearms preemption law that prevents city and county governments from enacting gun laws that are stricter than state law. The state also has a law to protect firing ranges.

Restrictions

Gun bans: None.

Waiting periods for gun purchases: No.

License or permit to purchase guns: No.

Registration of guns: No.

Places in Maine where firearms cannot be carried, with or without a permit, include:

  • Courtrooms
  • Jails
  • Labor strike sites
  • Places that serve alcohol
  • Schools
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