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What are the Gun Laws in Maine?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

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Caution: This summary is meant for general purposes only. Firearm laws frequently change and the following answers may not reflect changes in the laws.

Quick Reference

Rifles and Shotguns
  • Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
  • Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
  • Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No

Handguns

  • Permit to purchase handgun? No
  • Registration of handguns? No
  • Licensing of owners of handguns? No
  • Permit to carry handguns? Yes

Purchase

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

Dealers must keep a record of all firearm sales, rentals or loans. This record shall consist of the make, caliber, and serial number of the firearm and the name and address of the purchaser or recipient. This record shall be open to the inspection of any sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, constable, game warden or prosecuting attorney.

A firearms dealer must include a safety brochure with every firearm sold.

A person is guilty of a criminal offense if he knowingly sells, furnishes, gives away or offers to sell, furnishes, gives away to a child under the age of 16: air rifles, gunpowder, smokeless powder or ammunition for a firearm.

It is an affirmative defense that the person was a parent or guardian or any adult approved by a parent or guardian or any adult person approved by a parent or guardian and was for a firearm for use in a supervised manner.

It is unlawful for any person to transfer a handgun to a minor under 18.

Any commercial retail sales outlet that sells firearms must post a conspicuous warning at each purchase counter in block letters not less than one inch in height which reads:

    "ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD IS A CRIME. IF YOU LEAVE A FIREARM AND AMMUNITION WITHIN EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO FINE, IMPRISONMENT OR BOTH. KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SEPARATE. KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION LOCKED UP. USE TRIGGER LOCKS."

The same sign must be posted at all entrances to an organized gun show.

Possession

No permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

A juvenile convicted of selected non-violent offenses can not own a firearm for three years or until 18 years of age, whichever is longer.

It is unlawful for a person, other than a law enforcement officer or a private investigator, to possess a firearm in a posted liquor establishment.

It is unlawful for any person to possess a firearm while under the influence in such an establishment.

Carrying

It is unlawful to carry any firearm concealed about the person without having a concealed carrying permit. This includes carrying in an automobile glove compartment, or other area where the firearm is under the person^s control. It is not unlawful to carry a firearm openly.

It is unlawful for a person, while in or on a motor vehicle or in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, to have a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except for a law enforcement official in the line of duty.

A person who has a valid Maine permit to carry a concealed weapon may have in or on a motor vehicle or trailer a loaded pistol or revolver covered by that permit.

The issuing authority for a permit to carry a concealed weapon is the mayor and municipal officers or councilors of a city, the municipal officers or councilors of a town, or the assessors of a plantation or, if they so choose, their full-time chief of police; or the chief of the state police in case of a resident of unorganized territory or a nonresident.

The applicant must be 18 years of age or older, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law, and be of good moral character. In judging good moral character the issuing authority shall make its determination based upon evidence recorded by governmental entities within the last 5 years.

Matters considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Recorded incidents of family abuse by the applicant.

  • Three or more convictions of the applicant for crimes punishable by less than one year.

  • Iimprisonment or one or more adjudications of the applicant for juvenile offenses involving conduct that, if committed by an adult, is punishable by less than one year imprisonment.

  • Information that the applicant has engaged in reckless or negligent conduct.

  • Information that the applicant has been convicted of or adjudicated as having committed drug violations whether as an adult or juvenile.

A person may apply to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a permit to carry a firearm after five years from the date that the person is finally discharged from all sentences. A court may overturn arbitrary, capricious or discriminatory denials.

In applying for a concealed carry permit, the applicant must provide name; personal information; physical description; address(es) for the last five years; and history of any issuances, refusals or revocation of any carry licenses. The applicant may be required to provide a photograph, give fingerprints or allow access to mental health records.

The applicant must also answer over 30 questions related to:

  • Both adult and juvenile criminal history, including for pending charges, convictions, not guilty verdicts by mental disease or defect for a wide variety of crimes including: drugs, weapons, crimes punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment; and threatened bodily injury.

  • Restraining orders; fugitive from justice status; drug abuse, drug addiction or drug dependency; dishonorable discharges from military; illegal alien status; and other good moral character issues.

  • Mental disorders that cause a danger to self or others; or adjudicated as mentally incapacitated without designation removed.

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