Maine is a shall-issue, constitutional carry state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety through the Maine State Police.
There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required to buy a handgun from a private individual.
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 issues permits for reciprocity purposes.
Maine Permits to Carry Concealed Handguns (CCHs) require a firearms training course that has been approved by the state. Maine CCHs are issued to residents and non-residents that are at least 18 years old. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses. In terms of reciprocity, since Maine has permitless carry, so any person at least 21 years old who can legally possess a firearm may carry a concealed firearm on his or her person without a license or permit. 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. According to state law, a Maine CCH is still valid for 6 months following the expiration date.
Use of Force in Defense of Premises A person in possession or control of premises or a person who is licensed or privileged to be there is justified:
In using non-deadly force upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass by such other person in or upon such premises.
In using deadly force upon another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent an attempt by the other person to commit arson.
In using deadly force upon another person when the person reasonably believes:
That such other person has entered or is attempting to enter a dwelling place or has surreptitiously remained within a dwelling place without a license or privilege to do so and is committing or is likely to commit some other crime within the dwelling place;
That deadly force is necessary to prevent the infliction of bodily injury by such other person upon the person or a third party present in the dwelling place; and
Only if the person first demands that the trespasser terminate the criminal trespass and the trespasser fails to immediately comply with the demand, unless the person reasonably believes that it would be dangerous to the person or a third person to make the demand.
“Dwelling place” means a structure that is adapted for overnight accommodation of persons or sections of any structure similarly adapted. A dwelling place does not include garages or other structures, whether adjacent or attached to the dwelling place, that are used solely for the storage of property or structures formerly used as dwelling places that are uninhabitable.
“Premises” includes, but is not limited to, lands, private ways and any buildings or structures thereon.
Physical Force in Defense of a Person A person is justified in using a reasonable degree of non-deadly force upon another person in order to defend the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful, non-deadly force by such other person, and the person may use a degree of such force that the person reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose. However, such force is not justifiable if:
The person provoked the use of unlawful, non-deadly force by the other person; or
The person was the initial aggressor, unless the person withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person the intent to do so, but the other person continues the use or threat of unlawful, non-deadly force; or
The force involved was the product of a combat by agreement not authorized by law.
A person is justified in using deadly force upon another person:
When the person reasonably believes it necessary and reasonably believes such other person is:
About to use unlawful, deadly force against the person or a third party; or
Committing or about to commit a kidnapping, robbery or sexual assault against the person or a third party
However, a person is not justified in using deadly force if he or she provoked the encounter or knows that he or she or the third party can, with complete safety:
Retreat from the encounter (except that the person or the third party is not required to retreat if the person or the third party is in the person’s dwelling place and was not the initial aggressor);
Surrender property to the person; or
Comply with a demand that the person abstain from performing an act that the person is not obliged to perform.
Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 21 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry.
Gun Permit Licensure?
If Maine requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?
Maine is a shall-issue state.
Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?
What is the minimum age in Maine to get a concealed carry permit?
Any person 21 or older who can legally possess a firearm is allowed to concealed carry. Anyone at least 18 years old can carry with a Maine Permit to Carry Concealed Handguns or a permit from a state that Maine recognizes. In addition, any active duty member of the military or honorably discharged at least 18 years of age may carry a concealed handgun.
Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?
Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Maine with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?
No. You are not allowed to carry concealed weapons that are not handguns.
Tasers or Stun Guns?
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Maine?
Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit. They may be used in defense of a person or that person's dwelling place.
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Maine?
An innkeeper or campground owner may eject from a hotel, lodging house or campground, or may refuse or deny any accommodations, facilities or privileges to any person the innkeeper or campground owner reasonably believes is bringing in firearms. The individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See theHandguns at Hotels page for additional information.
Does Maine have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?
An employer or an agent of an employer may not prohibit an employee who has a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun from keeping a firearm in the employee's vehicle as long as the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible.
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Maine? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
Yes. A person is guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing that that person is not licensed or privileged to do so, that person enters any place from which that person may lawfully be excluded and that is posted in accordance with subsection 4 or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or that is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders. Violation of this paragraph is a Class E crime.
Possession of firearms in an establishment licensed for on-premises consumption of liquor 1. A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm if:
The person possesses any firearm on the premises of a licensed establishment posted to prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of patrons, in violation of the posted prohibition or restriction; or
While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or a combination of liquor and drugs or with an excessive alcohol level, the person possesses a firearm in a licensed establishment.
No definition of brandishing was found in Maine law. However, a person may not display in a threatening manner a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does Maine issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Yes. Maine allows non-resident permitting.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?
Does Maine allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
No. The public has no access to Maine's concealed carry registry.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Maine?
No. A permit is not required for the purchase of a firearm in Maine.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Maine?
No. Private firearms transfers are not subject to a background check requirement, although federal and state purchaser prohibitions, including age restrictions, still apply. However, the Maine Legislature has adopted a resolution requiring the Department of Public Safety to assist private sellers who wish to obtain criminal history record information about potential purchasers of firearms. (Here's a list of Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) that will assist private sellers.) It is recommended that you retain any sales receipts to prove ownership of the gun.
Maine Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current Maine concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Maine?
No. There is no waiting period to buy a handgun in Maine.
Do handguns need to be registered in Maine?
No. Gun owners are not required to register their handguns in Maine.
Minimum Age to Possess and Transport?
What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Maine?
You must be at least 18 years old to concealed carry in Maine.
Maine has permitless carry for any person at least 21 years old who can legally possess a firearm. If carrying with a permit/license that Maine honors/recognizes, you must be 18 or older. By statute, Maine doesn’t honor all other states permits, and there are locations that are off-limits to those carrying under permitless carry in Maine. You have to have a Maine permit or a resident permit from a state Maine honors to carry in the below listed areas:
Acadia National Park;
Regular archery hunting-deer only; and
Employees’ vehicles on work premises (vehicle must be locked and firearm must not be visible).
Maine residents can carry a concealed defensive firearm in the state of Oklahoma without any type of permit. You must carry your driver's license or state-issued ID when carrying your firearm in Oklahoma.
Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.
States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Maine
Maine offers resident and non-resident permits. If indicated with “Resident only” below, that state only honors Maine resident permits (and not those issued to non-residents).
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 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 3 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; and
You must make notification of changes of address within 30 days of moving. If you wait more than 30 days, your permit becomes invalid and you must start over as a new applicant at full cost. If you currently hold a valid permit issued through the Maine State Police (MSP):
If you move to another address in the same town, you can call the MSP and update your address over the phone; you do not need to send any money and you will not receive a new permit; if you want a new permit reflecting your new address in the same town, send in page one of the application, filled out completely, and include a check/money order for $2.00 payable to Treasurer, State of Maine.
If you move to another town in which the MSP is still the Issuing Authority, you must fill out page one of the resident application or non-resident application completely and send it in with a check/money order for $2.00.
If your current valid permit has been issued from an Issuing Authority other than the MSP – a police department or the town’s selectmen – and you move to a town in which the Maine State Police is the Issuing Authority, you must fill out the complete resident application packet, even the authority to release information pages at the back of the packet, and send it to the MSP with a check/money order for $2.00. Note: The MSP requires a photo, a copy of your birth certificate, a copy of your current concealed carry permit and a copy of a handgun safety certificate. Normally the handgun safety certificate must be less than 5 years old, but in this instance only, it does not have to be; it can be more than 5 years old.
Moving to Maine and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply? Maine issues resident and non-resident permits, so you can apply for your permit at any time. You may apply as a resident once you have a voter's registration card, a Maine driver's license or state ID.
Moving from Maine and have a Maine resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Maine permit remains valid? If a person with a Maine permit to carry concealed handguns establishes residency in another state, the permit is valid provided you follow the procedures in the above referenced Name/Address changes section.
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 or under the supervision of a federal, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency or a firearms instructor certified by a private firearms association recognized as knowledgeable in matters of handgun safety by the issuing authority or by the state in which the course was taken. As an alternative way of fully satisfying this requirement, an applicant may personally demonstrate knowledge of handgun safety to an issuing authority, if the issuing authority is willing to evaluate an applicant’s personal demonstration of such knowledge. 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.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
Private property when prohibited by the property owner;
Establishments licensed for on-premises consumption of liquor, if the premises are posted. Note that even if there is no posted prohibition, it is illegal to carry on these premises while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs [Me. Stat. 17-A, §1057];
It is legal to own any type of knife in Maine, although there may be county ordinances limiting what can be carried. It is also legal to open carry any knife. However, certain weapons, including dirks, Bowie knives, stilettos and other dangerous or deadly weapons, cannot be carried concealed or displayed in a threatening manner.
Yes. A person may not intentionally or knowingly interfere with the lawful hunting, fishing or trapping of a wild animal, wild bird or fish. A person may not intentionally or knowingly disturb or attempt to disturb a wild animal, wild bird or fish with the intent to interfere with the hunting, fishing or trapping of a wild animal, wild bird or fish.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.
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