Maine has lenient gun laws for both possession and purchasing of firearms.

Even though you may not need a permit to make use of firearms in the state, you must still understand the gun laws.

This will help you ensure that you are risk-free, and not committing violations while handing your firearm in the state.

Maine Gun Laws Summary

Maine is one of the permitless carry states for firearm licenses in the USA, but this does not mean that the state does not still issue permits.

It is a shall-issue state, and you can apply for a Maine concealed carry permit if you meet all the requirements to do so.

The department of public safety in the state is in charge of the application process, via the police department.

However, you do not need a permit to either conceal carry or open carry in the state.

But you must be at least twenty-one years old, without any state or federal prohibition, to use a firearm.

Members of the military must be at least eighteen years old to possess firearms in the state.

Maine also does not issue a purchase permit to buy firearms. But all buyers must undergo the state criminal record background check before completing the purchase.

Unlike most states, your permit does not exempt you from the criminal record background check.

Maine issues concealed carry permits to both residents and non-residents.

Is It Legal To Open Carry In Maine?

Yes. Open carry is legal in Maine, and you do not need a permit to do this.

However, just like other states, there are restrictions as to where you can open carry, and how you can open carry.

Maine Open Carry Law

Maine is a permissive open carry state with gun law preemptions.

The state prohibits armor piercing ammunition, but you can make use of machine guns and semi-automatic firearms if you buy, register, and handle in compliance with federal laws.

Maine Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoYou are not required to own a permit before you open carry in Maine.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoThere are no firearm registration requirements in Maine gun law statutes.
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoMaine gun law is silent about assault weapons, but to use machine guns in the state you must have a federal license.
Magazine limitNoNoThere are no limits to the number of rounds for your firearm magazine.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredThere are no state requirements for a firearm owner to obtain a license in Main.
Red flag lawNoNoMaine gun laws do not include red flag law or any other form of protection or restriction order in the state.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesMaine has a stand your ground policy for castle doctrine, with a no duty to retreat policy.
Background check for private dealersPartialPartialThere are no requirements for private firearm dealers to start completing background checks in Maine. However, the department of public safety has made provisions for private dealers that would like to complete a background check before sales of firearms.
PreemptionYesYesMaine has full preemption gun laws in the state, but local governments have permissions to regulate the use of firearms in their territories.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesMaine is a shall-issue state, and you must apply for the state concealed carry permits to conceal carry within its territory.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYes, you can conceal carry in your car.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoOpen carry and possession of firearms in Maine are prohibited in schools, colleges, universities, and other technical or vocational institutions in the state.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Maine?

The following places are not prohibited for Maine open carry.

  • Restaurants and Bars: You can open carry and possess your firearms in restaurant areas except there is a prohibition to do so from the management of such a venture.
  • Personal vehicle: You can possess your firearm and open carry in your vehicle.
  • Road areas: Possession of firearms and open carry is not illegal in roadside areas in Maine.
  • State forests: You can open carry in state forests and wildlife management areas.
  • Places of worship: Possession of firearms is possible in places of worship except they have a post or signage restricting such activity within the premises.

Where Is It Illegal To Possess Firearms In Maine?

Open carry in Maine is prohibited in the following parts of the state:

  • Schools: You are not allowed to possess firearms of open carry in school premises, as well as colleges, universities, and other technical institutions in the state.
  • Courthouses: Open carry is prohibited in the premises of a courtyard and during a court session.
  • Private properties: You are not allowed to open carry a firearm on private property or buildings where the owner prohibits the possession of weapons.
  • Under the influence: You are not allowed to handle a firearm when you are under the influence of alcohol or in ventures that have the license to sell alcohol for consumption on their premises.
  • Hotel and campgrounds: You are not allowed to possess a firearm in hotels and campgrounds if, in the management’s opinion, it will be dangerous for other people in the place.
  • Prohibited places: You are not allowed to open carry in places like the state capitol building and its environs, Baxter state park, and other places that are prohibited by federal laws.

FAQs About Open Carry Maine

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry in Maine.

Must I Apply For A Permit Before I Open Carry In Maine?

No. You do not need a permit to open carry in Maine.

Do I Need A Permit For Concealed Carry In Maine?

No. Although Maine issues concealed carry permits, it is not compulsory to obtain one before you conceal carry within the state territory.

This is because Maine is a permitless state.

At What Age Can I State To Open Carry In Maine?

You must be at least twenty-one years old before you can legally open carry in Maine.

At What Age Can I Conceal Carry In Maine?

The age for concealed carry in Mane is twenty-one years old. But for members of the military posted to the state, the age requirement is eighteen years old.

What Is The Minimum Age For Applying For Maine Concealed Carry permit?

The minimum age requirement for a concealed carry permit in Maine is twenty-one years old.

What Is A Red Flag Law In Maine?

Red flag law is when a court of law accepts a petition to restrict someone possession and ability to buy and sell firearms in the state due.

This could be because the person is a threat to him/herself or society.

Maine gun statues do not have any protection order or red flag law.

Is Maine Concealed Carry Permit Open To Non-residents Of The State?

Yes. Non-residents can apply for Maine’s concealed carry permit if they want to do so, and it is the same application process as that of residents.

Is Maine A Constitutional State For Carrying Firearms?

Yes. Maine is a constitutional carry state.

Can I Open Carry Knives In Maine?

Yes, you can legally own and open carry any type of knife in the state. But the state gun statutes allow counties to regulate what type of knife to use for open carry.

However, other weapons that are considered dangerous cannot be openly carried threateningly in the state.

Does Maine Have Firearm Restrictions In The State?

Although there are no specific laws in the state that talk about restrictions of assault weapons like machine guns and semi-automatic firearms, you can only open carry them if you have a federal license to do so.

Maine prohibits the use of machine guns or similar firearms for hunting in the state.

Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In Maine?

No. Maine does not issue a purchase permit for firearm sales in the state.

Must I Complete A Criminal Record Background Check Before Purchasing Firearms In Maine?

Yes. This is a very important requirement for firearm purchase in the state especially if you are buying from a state or federally licensed dealer.

Previously, the background check was not a requirement for private firearm dealers in the state, but Maine’s department of public safety has made provisions for private dealers that want to undergo the check, before selling firearms.

How Long Will It Take For Maine Concealed Carry Firearms To Expire?

Maine firearm permit is valid for just four years after which you have to apply for a new one.

Am I Required To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In Maine?

You are required to inform a law officer if you are carrying without a permit. But if you have a permit, you are not required to inform.

Is Maine A castle doctrine State?

Yes. Maine has a castle doctrine law with stand your ground policy that encourages residents not to retreat in the face of an attack as long as they are where they have legal rights to be.

Can I Make Use Of Deadly Force For Self Defense In Maine?

Yes. Maine gun law allows the use of self-defense in the following situations.

  • When you believe that it is reasonable to do so against someone attacking with such force.
  • When the attacker is committing felony crimes like rape, robbery, kidnapping against you or a third party.  
  • When an intruder enters your home without your permission or a license to do so.
  • When needed to prevent severe bodily harm upon yourself or another person in your dwelling place.

Must I Complete Firearm Training Before Applying For Concealed Carry Permit In Maine?

Yes. You must complete a firearm training supervised by the state’s law enforcement agency, under a licensed and certified instructor.

When Can I Apply For A Renewal Permit In Maine?

You must apply for a renewal application within six months of the expiration of your concealed carry permit.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Maine

To open carry in Maine, here are some of the gun laws that you need to have at the back of your mind.

Ammunition Restrictions

Maine gun statutes prohibit the use of armored piercing ammunition in the state. 

Making use of this is a violation that could lead to prosecution.

No Weapon Sign In Maine

Maine enforces the law for no firearm signs in the state.

A person that trespasses into a place with such signage lawfully posted according to subsection four of this statute, or an intruder that enters a fenced area designed to keep people away will be guilty of a violation of this law.

In Maine, this is a class E crime.

Another section of this law talks about the possession of firearms or open carry in an establishment licensed for on-site consumption of alcohol within their premises.

Such a person will be guilty of indiscriminate possession of a firearm if:

  • He or she is in possession of a firearm on the premises when those in charge of the establishment find out.
  • A person is with a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, in the licensed establishment.

Preemption Law

Maine is a preemption law state, with the state government gun laws superseding those of local municipalities or counties.

Brandishing Of Firearms

This section of the gun law does not talk about only firearms; it concerns all types of weapons in the state.

It says that nobody shall threateningly display a firearm, knives, stiletto or any other dangerous weapon used for attack or self-defense.

Possession Of Firearms Under The Influence Of Alcohol

Maine gun statute prohibits anybody from possessing a firearm under the influence of alcohol, any other drug or a controlled substance.

Under the influence of alcohol as defined by this law is a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08.

Open Carry While Hunting

Open carry while hunting is valid in Maine. However, if you must open carry while hunting with a bow, you must have a license to do that.

Also, you must not use a firearm to take animals during bow hunting.

Maine has hunter harassment laws that help preserve the activities.

The law states that:

  • Nobody should deliberately disturb any legal hunting, fishing or trapping of games in wildlife.
  • Nobody shall intentionally interfere or attempt to interfere with animals in the wild, or in aquatic bodies, to disturb hunting activities.

Additional Resources

Maine Gun Laws
Maine Concealed Carry Laws
Maine Gun Permit Laws

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