“Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.”


Maine is a shall-issue, constitutional carry state. There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required to buy a handgun from a private individual. Open and concealed carry is legal without a permit​. Any person 21 or older is allowed to carry openly or concealed. In terms of reciprocity, since Maine has permitless carry, 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. Maine is a Castle Doctrine state. There is no stand your ground law, so an individual has a duty to retreat.

Reciprocal Carry

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.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Maine does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry unless they are carrying without a permit. If an individual carrying without a permit is stopped by a LEO, they have a duty to inform the Officer that they are carrying a firearm. Every permit holder, including a nonresident who holds a permit issued by the nonresident’s state of residence, must have the holder’s permit in the holder’s immediate possession at all times when carrying a concealed handgun and must display the same on demand of any LEO. Those carrying under permitless carry must inform immediately. Those with a permit/license that Maine honors must present their permit/license to carry and proper identification when asked.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Alaska permits anyone who may legally possess a firearm to possess a firearm while operating a motor vehicle, or to store a firearm in a locked motor vehicle when it is parked.

An employer or its agent may, however, prohibit firearm possession within a secured restricted area, in a vehicle owned, leased, or rented by the employer or its agent, or in a parking lot owned or controlled by the employer within 300 feet of the secured restricted area.

Constitutional Carry

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.

NFA Items

Maine permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law. Hunting with suppressors is legal. CLEOs are required to sign an application for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.

Self-Defense Laws

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.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Carrying in restaurants the serve alcohol is permitted, if not posted otherwise. 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.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to you that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes trespass.

Open Carry

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.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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