Maine Regulations for Concealed Carry
Maine concealed carry laws changed in 2015 when the state legislature passed LD 652, which amended Titles 12 and 25, removing the state’s concealed carry permit requirement for those over the age of 21.
A recent bill (LD 44) proposed by the same architect of LD 652, Senator Eric Brakey, would lower that concealed carry age requirement to include 18, 19 and 20 year olds, who currently are required to have a permit for concealed carry. However, LD 44 was met with opposition from the state’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which recommended rejection of that measure and its additional call to remove duty to inform requirements.
Further proposed legislation in early 2017 (LD 1370) would remove gun-free zones on public college and university campuses, which currently have the ability to regulate where and how these weapons are carried on the premises.
Maine Gun Laws Restrict Firearms In Key Locations
It is a Class D crime to carry a firearm in courthouses, according to 17-A M.R.S. § 1058, and the statute outlines that a valid permit is not a justifiable defense to carry in a courthouse.
It is illegal to carry concealed firearms in state parks, according to 12 M.R.S. § 1803(6), but section seven of that statute allows it for those who have a valid state permit or out-of-state permit recognized by Maine.
A permit is required to carry and use a firearm in Acadia National Park, according to 12 M.R.S. § 756, unless the firearm is used in authorized hunting locations when and where applicable, the firearm is “temporarily inoperable” or stored, or if one is a qualified law enforcement officer or a qualified retired law enforcement officer.
To build on that, there are certain wildlife sanctuaries that bar loaded firearms. These restrictions include, but are not limited to, the roads bounding Limington, Hollis and Waterboro Sanctuary, as well as the roads bounding the Standish Game Sanctuary.
There are also restrictions on carrying while on public school property and approved private school property, as well as restrictions on discharging a firearm within 500 feet of public school/approved private school property.
State Capitol Areas, which are owned or leased by the state and includes locations like the Augusta Mental Health Institute Complex and the District Court Building, generally restrict firearms, according to DPS Rule Chapter 41 and 25 M.R.S. § 2904.
Private property owners may prohibit firearms on their premises, according to the Department of Public Safety. If a location with a liquor license allowing patrons to consume on the premises posts that firearms are not allowed, law-abiding citizens must abide, and even if the location doesn’t post this requirement it’s still illegal to carry while intoxicated there, according to 17-A M.R.S. §1057.
Maine has outlawed being armed with a dangerous weapon at labor disputes and strikes, making it a Class D crime.
Baxter State Park prohibits firearms within the park, but they may be transported if in a vehicle’s trunk or enclosed in a case, according to the park’s rules posted on its website. Notably, this state park is governed separately from the Maine State Park System.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway also has similar prohibitions on firearms, unless they are covered, fastened in a case or carried in two pieces, according to the park’s posted rules. There are exceptions in this in these watercourse crossings:
- Henderson Brook Bridge
- Reality Bridge
- Churchill Dam Bridge
- John’s Bridge
- Chamberlain Thoroughfare Bridge
- Allagash Stream Bridge
How Maine Constitutional Carry Works
Maine’s constitutional carry laws allow one to carry a weapon without a permit throughout the state and while in a motor vehicle, trailer or a vehicle being hauled.
Only residents and nonresidents over the age of 21 who aren’t prohibited from possessing a firearm may carry without a permit. State and federal prohibitors apply, some of which may be felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence, qualifying juvenile adjudications, citizenship status, mental health adjudications and commitments, substance abuse, probation and dishonorable discharge from the military. Because this is not formal legal advice, consult a state legal authority about questions of or related to this matter.
Those who are 18 to 20 years old must get ahold of a permit, but there is an exception here for those who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard or have been honorably discharged. They must also not be prohibited from possessing a firearm.
When it comes to use of force, there are four specific statutes to become familiar with: 17-A M.R.S. Chapter 5 Sections 104, 105, 106 and 108. These will pertain to use of nondeadly and deadly force in various scenarios to prevent or terminate criminal trespass, to prevent property offenses, to defend others and one’s self, to ward against arson and other similar offenses. Again, this is not legal advice.
If someone is lawfully carrying a firearm without a permit, they have a duty to inform a law enforcement officer of this fact if they come into contact with them — this is the duty to inform component that was voted against recently by the Maine Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
The Maine Concealed Carry Permit Affords A Few Extra Privileges
The Maine concealed carry permit is still issued by the State Police or a city/town’s respective police department. There is a list of towns with permitting systems in place offered by the State Police.
The permit legally allows one to carry in state parks, Acadia National Park and while archery hunting deer. The permit also authorizes an employee to keep their concealed firearm locked in their vehicle in the company’s parking lot, according to 26 M.R.S. §600.
There is a resident applicant form and a nonresident applicant form. There will be a $35 fee for residents, $60 fee for nonresidents, applying for the first time, with a $20 renewal fee for residents and a $60 renewal fee for nonresidents.
Resident applicants must include a copy of their State of Maine issued permit received from another issuing authority (if at all applicable), a copy of their DD214 for proof of knowledge of handgun safety (if applicable to the particular applicant), a 2x2 passport quality photograph, a copy of a birth certificate or INS document and a copy of a certificate showing proof of knowledge of handgun safety (for those without the previously mentioned formal military training).
Nonresident applicants must include all of the same documents, with exception to a previous Maine permit, according to the application form. However, the state’s permit FAQ document states it’s allowed to send a copy of a permit from other states.
There will be a background check conducted after the form is submitted. This will sweep databases for the previously mentioned prohibitors and disqualifying records. According to Title 25 M.R.S.A. § 2003 (1) (E) (3), fingerprints may also be a requirement to resolve questions about identity.
If there’s a change of address after the permit is received, the issuing authority must be made aware within 30 days, or else one would technically have to apply as a new applicant with all the requisite, respective fees.
Maine Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Maine concealed carry reciprocity standards are established in 25 M.R.S. 2001-A (2) (F), and they boil down to the fact that if another state recognizes the Maine CCW permit, then Maine will in turn recognize theirs as valid.
If a Maine resident is traveling with their concealed weapon, they must follow the state’s firearms laws for the area they are traveling to — for example, some states do not permit those under the age of 21 to carry a concealed firearm in certain circumstances.
The states’ permits Maine recognizes, and vice versa, can and will change in the future. For this reason, an updated CCW reciprocity map is a solid tool.
Click On Another State To Learn About Their Concealed Carry!
About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter in his final year of studying public relations and apparel at the University of Idaho.