Maine protects the right to bear arms under Article I, Section 16 of the state constitution, but this does not mean that everyone may carry a gun, or that you may always carry a gun wherever you like. Maine requires a license to carry a concealed weapon on (or near) you body. (25 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 2003.)
For more information on permitting laws, see Gun Permit Laws in Maine.
The following sections explain who may not have a gun, and the circumstances or situations when carrying a gun is illegal.
People Who May Not Carry a Gun in Maine
The following individuals are prohibited from carrying a weapon in Maine:
- those younger than 18 years old
- people who are disqualified from possessing a firearm under federal law
- convicted felons, and those convicted of other specified misdemeanors
- people who have been convicted of crimes as a juvenile that, if committed by an adult, would have been a disqualifying conviction
- people who lack “good moral character” (based on several factors, including past incidents of domestic violence or abuse, specified criminal convictions, and certain reckless or negligent conduct)
- persons who have been found not criminally responsible for a crime by reason of insanity, or who were found not competent to stand trial, and
- those who have been involuntarily committed to a hospital because they were found to present a likelihood of serious harm to themselves or others.
(25 Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 2003.).
Situations or Circumstances Where Carrying a Gun is Illegal
It is illegal to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. But even with a permit, it is illegal to carry weapons in some locations. You may not carry a firearm:
- on school property
- in a courthouse, and
- in an inn or campground where the owner of the premises has forbade firearms.
Penalties for Gun Carry Violations
It is a Class D crime to illegally carry a firearm in Maine, or to carry a firearm into a courthouse or an establishment that sells liquor for on-premise consumption (such as a bar or nightclub). Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to one year in jail, or both. If you are convicted of carrying a firearm on the premises of a liquor-selling establishment, the court will also revoke your concealed carry permit.
It is a Class E crime to carry a firearm on school property in Maine. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or both.
Getting Legal Help
The penalties for violating gun carry laws are serious, and often include harsh fines and long prison sentences. If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Maine, or if you are facing charges for a gun violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.