Gun Laws in Maine
In the state of Maine gun laws there exist specific laws regarding different forms of firearms. Within these laws are stipulations for minors. The following are these gun laws as specified by Maine state statutes.
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.
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.
Gun Laws Applying to Adults
- Permits, registration and/or licenses are not required for shotguns and rifles
- Permits are required for handguns
- Permits are not required for the sale or purchase of guns in the state of Maine
- Anyone selling guns in Maine are required to keep thorough records of all gun transactions to include the serial numbers. It is also required that safety brochures are packaged with these guns at the time of sale
- Records are subject to inspection by law enforcement at any given time
- It is illegal for anyone outside of law enforcement to possess firearms of any kind in bars and/or night clubs
- It is illegal to possess any firearm(s) during any period of time while consuming alcohol and/or under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances
- It is illegal to carry concealed weapons without a valid permit
- It is illegal for any individual to purchase/possess handguns and/or permits if the individual has:
- Record of any form of abuse
- Felony conviction of any kind
- More than three convictions where punishment is less than one year imprisonment
- Record of negligent and/or reckless misconduct
- Record of any drug violation
- It is legal to possess machine guns that are registered and compliant with all federal gun laws
- It is illegal to hunt with machine guns
- It is illegal to hunt with any automatic and/or self-loading firearm(s)
- It is illegal to possess silencer(s)
- It is illegal to use/possess exploding and/or tracer bullets. Retailers and/or lawful firearm dealers are not liable for crimes committed with the use of firearms sold
- The sale of any machine guns is illegal and classified as a Class D felony charge
- Using deadly force with a firearm(s) is legal if the action is a result of self-defense within the home
- It is illegal discharge firearm(s) in public places
- It is illegal to discharge firearm(s) in the direction of oncoming traffic on roads and/or highways
- It is illegal to possess a loaded firearm(s) of any form in a motor operated vehicle regardless of permit
- It is illegal to discharge a firearm(s) toward another individual where there is not an emanant threat to an individual’s life
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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.
Gun Laws Applying to Minors
- It is illegal to sell, purchase for, or transfer ownership of handguns to anyone under the age of eighteen
- It is illegal to attempt to provide or sell pellet guns, air rifles, gun accessories and/or any form of ammunition to minors under the age of sixteen
- Juveniles who are convicted of violent and/or gun related offenses are restricted to own any form of firearm until the age of eighteen
- It is illegal for minors under the age of ten to hunt and/or obtain hunting license
- It is legal for minors sixteen years of age or older to obtain a hunting license and hunt if accompanied by parent or legal guardian
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
- State Capitol area
- Wildlife Sanctuaries
- Labor disputes and strikes
- Baxter State Park
- Allagash Wilderness Waterway