Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Maine Carry Concealed Handguns (CCH) permit below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

Maine is a shall-issue, permitless carry state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety through the Maine State Police. Shall-issue means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law.

Open and concealed carry are legal in Maine without a permit​. Any person 21 or older, or at least 18 and active duty or honorably discharged military, who can legally possess a firearm, is allowed to carry openly or concealed. In addition, Maine also recognizes resident concealed handgun permits issued by another state if that state recognizes Maine’s resident CCHs. Permit holders from these states are allowed to carry in a few areas that individuals who carry under the permitless carry law cannot, including Acadia National Park.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Maine?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Not be prohibited by state law from possessing a firearm
  • Demonstrate to the issuing authority a knowledge of handgun safety
  • Be of good moral character (the issuing authority will make this determination based on past evidence recorded through government entities within the last 5 years)
  • Not have been convicted in a Maine court of a violation of possession of firearms in an establishment licensed for on-premises consumption of liquor within the past 5 years
  • Not have been the subject of an investigation by any law enforcement agency regarding the alleged abuse of family or household members within the past 5 years
  • Not have been convicted in any jurisdiction within the past 5 years of three or more crimes punishable by a term of imprisonment of less than 1 year or of crimes classified under the laws of a state as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of 2 years or less
  • Not have engaged within the past 5 years in reckless or negligent conduct that has been the subject of an investigation by a governmental entity
  • Not have been convicted in a Maine court of any drug crime within the past 5 years
  • Meet federal law requirements 

Do I Need Firearms Training in Maine?

Yes. An applicant for a Maine CCH must provide proof that the applicant has, within 5 years prior to the date of application, completed a course that included handgun safety offered by a law enforcement agency or a certified firearms instructor. As an alternative way of satisfying this requirement, an applicant may personally demonstrate knowledge of handgun safety to an issuing authority. The issuing authority is not required to offer this second option.

Potential Exemption – The demonstration of knowledge of handgun safety to the issuing authority may not be required of any applicant who was or is in any of the Armed Forces of the United States and has received at least basic firearms training. 

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Maine?

Step 1: Read the Maine concealed carry pamphlet: Laws Relating to Permits to Carry Concealed Handguns.

Step 2: Download the application.

Step 3: Mail your completed application to the state police or take to your local police station.  You will need the following:

    • An application for a concealed carry permit
    • Two Authority to Release Information forms
    • A valid copy of a birth certificate or INS document
    • One 2-inch by 2-inch color passport photograph
    • A copy of a certificate that has been issued within the past 5 years that shows proof of knowledge of handgun safety
    • Any necessary copies of CCW permits issued by other states or municipalities within Maine
    • A valid copy of the DD-214 form for members of the Armed Forces
    • The appropriate fees

You will be notified within 30 days of whether your application has been approved or denied.


For more information, visit the USCCA Maine gun laws page now…