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Maine Gun Control Laws

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides residents the right to bear arms. Maine's Constitution is quite clear on gun rights. It states, “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned."

While the federal and state constitutional rights are clear to some people, the right to own guns can be controversial. While most people believe some limitations (like no guns in daycare centers) could be acceptable, other people question which types of limits are OK and which are not.

Maine's Gun Laws

Many gun rights advocates find Maine supportive of gun ownership, but some critics find Maine's gun control laws far too lax. The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave Maine an “F" grade for its gun laws because it doesn't require:

  • Background checks for gun sales between private individuals
  • Firearm owners to register their weapons
  • A limit for the number of firearms that can be purchased at one time
  • Regulate unsafe handguns (junk guns)

Maine's gun control laws are intended to make Maine safer while permitting recreational gun use, such as hunting, clay target shooting, and gun range shooting.

Maine's Gun Laws

The following table details the primary gun laws in Maine.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Illegal Arms

Maine and federal law (National Firearms Act) prohibit carrying certain guns without authorization. This includes:
  • A machine gun, except for a member of the Armed Forces or law enforcement officer carrying the weapon as part of official duties.
  • Armor-piercing ammunition.

Waiting Period

None

Who May Not Own

The following people are not allowed to possess firearms:
  • A person convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for one year or more (including juveniles). Five years after being discharged from prison or probation, a felon can apply for a permit to carry a firearm. However, that person can't be given a concealed weapon permit.
  • A person who's been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, found not criminally responsible because insane, or not competent to stand trial.
  • A person who is a fugitive from justice.
  • A person who has renounced their U.S citizenship.
  • A person who is not authorized to stay in the U.S or who was admitted under a nonimmigrant visa.
  • A person who was dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
  • A person who is addicted to any controlled substance.

License Required?

  • If you are 21 or older, you are not required to obtain a license to own or purchase a firearm in Maine.

Concealed Carry License Required?

  • A concealed handgun permit is not required for people 21 years old and older, but Maine provides concealed handgun permits for interested gun owners.
  • If you are 18 to 20 years old, you must have a permit.
  • Nonresidents can carry a concealed firearm if the person gets a permit from a state that accepts Maine's permit to carry.

Open Carried Allowed?

Open carry is allowed in Maine.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

In order to be eligible for a concealed carry license you must:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete a detailed license application
  • Be eligible to carry a firearm under federal and Maine laws
  • Show knowledge of handgun safety
  • Be of good moral character

Machine Gun Laws

Machine gun possession is illegal in Maine unless it is obtained in compliance with federal law.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possessing a firearm with a felony conviction is a Class C crime punishable by up to 5 years incarceration and a $5,000 fine
  • It's a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine, to possess a firearm:
    • While you are subject to an order of protection
    • After being involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, found not criminally responsible because insane, or not competent to stand trial
    • While being a fugitive from justice
    • While unlawfully using a controlled substance
    • While being illegally in the United States
    • After being dishonorably discharged from the military
    • After denouncing your U.S citizenship

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Possessing a firearm on public or private school property is a Class E crime punishable by up to six months incarceration and a $1,000 fine. You also can't discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a school. There are exceptions for school-operated gun ranges.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Getting Legal Help

If you have questions about gun control laws or getting your gun rights restored in Maine, you should speak with an experienced Maine constitutional lawyer or criminal defense lawyer.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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