Maine Gun Laws/Restrictions

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is being presented to the website users only as reference material to assist in the making of informed purchasing decisions; however, it is not intended to constitute legal advice nor counsel in determining compliance of the purchaser's Federal, State and Local gun laws, regulations and restrictions. has used reasonable effort in providing this information, from sources deemed reliable, but does not warrant or guarantee the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or currency of the information contained herein, or linked to or from this website. The information provided here is presented as an overview to the myriad of laws, regulations and restrictions in selling to, and shipping into, the customer's State, to be in compliance of that State's laws pertaining to restrictions of: firearms, dangerous weapons, ammunition, magazine round capacities, stun guns, Tasers, accessories, etc. Federal, State and Local gun laws are constantly changing, therefore, it is incumbent upon the purchaser to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the current status of Federal, State and Local gun laws governing their community, to assure that they are in compliance with those laws, regulations and restrictions.


Code Sections

Maine Code Revised Title 15, Section 393: Possession of Firearms by Prohibited Persons and Title 17-A, Chapter 43: Weapons

Types of Illegal Firearms

Possession, sale, transfer, or manufacture of the below firearms is illegal:

  • Maine and federal law (National Firearms Act) prohibits carrying certain guns, without authorization. For example, a machine gun is illegal unless a member of the Armed Forces or law enforcement carrying the weapon as part of official duties.
  • Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

Waiting Period Before Purchase

  • None

Who May Not Own Guns

Maine prohibits several different categories of individuals from owning or possessing pistols:

  • Persons convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for one year or more (including juveniles) can’t have guns.
  • Five years after being discharged from prison or probation, a felon can apply for a permit to carry a firearm. However, that person can’t be given a concealed weapon permit.
  • A person who’s been involuntarily committed to a psychiatrist hospital, found not criminally responsible because insane, or not competent to stand trial also can’t have a gun.

Laws Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds

  • For obvious safety reasons, you can’t carry a gun to school. Possessing a firearm on a public or private school property is a Class E crime (misdemeanor). You also can’t discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a school. There are exceptions for school-operated gun ranges, for example.

Laws Prohibiting Firearms in Bars

  • You can’t carry a firearm to a bar, club, bowling alley, hotel, or any establishment with a liquor license. The establishment must post something to let you know not to bring a gun in. Be safe, your hunting rifle, for example, could be left unloaded and locked in the toolbox attached to your truck or the trunk of your car.

Laws Prohibiting Firearms at Court

  • Unless you’re a police officer or corrections officer carrying a gun in the line of duty, you can’t carry a gun to court.

No state permit is required to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

Dealers must keep a record of all firearm sales, rentals or loans. This record shall consist of the make, caliber, and serial number of the firearm and the name and address of the purchaser or recipient. This record shall be open to the inspection of any sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, constable, game warden or prosecuting attorney.

A firearms dealer must include a safety brochure with every firearm sold (unless the firearm manufacturer provides a basic firearm safety brochure with the firearm), offer to demonstrate the use of a trigger locking device, and conspicuously post information relating to the availability of known local voluntary firearm safety programs.

Upon the purchase of a handgun, a person who does not have a concealed carry permit is required to sign an acknowledgment in the presence of the firearm dealer. This states that the person was provided with a basic firearm safety brochure. The purchaser, not the seller, keeps this acknowledgment document. (Maine’s Department of Public Safety website posts a basic firearm safety brochure, an acknowledgment form, and a list of safety programs certified by a national nonprofit membership organization that provides a volunteer safety program, including the training of people in the safe handling and use of handguns; click here to view the Concealed Handgun Permits page:

A person is guilty of a criminal offense if he knowingly sells, furnishes, gives away or offers to sell, furnishes, gives away to a child under the age of 16: air rifles, gunpowder, smokeless powder or ammunition for a firearm. It is an affirmative defense that the person was a parent or guardian or any adult approved by a parent or guardian or any adult person approved by a parent or guardian and was for a firearm for use in a supervised manner.

It is unlawful for any person to transfer a handgun to a minor under 18.

Any commercial retail sales outlet that sells firearms must post a conspicuous warning at each purchase counter in block letters not less than one inch in height which reads:


The same sign must be posted at all entrances to an organized gun show.

Firearms Restrictions
  • Maine and federal law (National Firearms Act) prohibits carrying certain guns, without authorization. For example, a machine gun is illegal unless a member of the Armed Forces or law enforcement carrying the weapon as part of official duties.
Stun Guns/Tasers Restrictions

State Statute or Definition: (17 AMRS §2 Dangerous weapon definition, but legal.)

  • No restrictions
Accessories/Ammunition Restrictions
  • Armor-piercing ammunition is prohibited.

No permit is required to possess a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

A juvenile convicted of selected non-violent offenses can not own a firearm for three years or until 18 years of age, whichever is longer.

It is unlawful for a person, other than a law enforcement officer or a private investigator, to possess a firearm in a posted liquor establishment. It is unlawful for any person to possess a firearm while under the influence in such an establishment.


It is not unlawful to carry a firearm openly. No permit is necessary to carry a concealed handgun if the person is at least 21 years old, or between 18 and 21 and on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard or is an honorably discharged veteran, and is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm. (The 2015 law, LD 652, changing the conceal carry requirements leaves intact the conceal carry permitting system for persons who wish to participate in reciprocal concealed carry permit agreements when traveling to other states.)

It is unlawful for a person, while in or on a motor vehicle or trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, to have a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except for a law enforcement official in the line of duty. However, a person who is at least 21 years old, or between 18 and 21 and on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard or is an honorably discharged veteran, and who is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm may have, in or on a motor vehicle, trailer or other type of vehicle, a loaded pistol or revolver.

A person carrying a concealed handgun without a permit to carry, upon first coming into contact with any law enforcement officer during the course of any arrest, detainment or routine traffic stop, must “immediately” inform the officer that the person is carrying a concealed handgun. Failure to comply is a civil offense punishable by a fine.

An employer or an agent of an employer may not prohibit an employee who has a valid concealed carry permit from keeping a firearm in the employee’s vehicle if the vehicle is locked and the firearm is out of sight. This includes State employees whose vehicle is on property owned or leased by the state.

The issuing authority for a permit to carry a concealed weapon is the mayor and municipal officers or councilors of a city, the municipal officers or councilors of a town, or the assessors of a plantation or, if they so choose, their full-time chief of police; or the chief of the state police in case of a resident of unorganized territory or a nonresident. The applicant must be 18 years of age or older, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law, and be of good moral character. In judging good moral character the issuing authority shall make its determination based upon evidence recorded by governmental entities within the last 5 years. Matters considered include, but are not limited to:

  • recorded incidents of family abuse by the applicant.
  • 3 or more convictions of the applicant for crimes punishable by less than one year.
  • imprisonment or one or more adjudications for juvenile offenses involving conduct that, if committed by an adult, is punishable by less than one year imprisonment.
  • Information that the applicant has engaged in reckless or negligent conduct.
  • Information that the applicant, as an adult or juvenile, has been convicted of, or adjudicated as having committed, drug violations.

A person may apply to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a permit to carry a firearm after 5 years from the date that the person is finally discharged from all sentences. A court may overturn arbitrary, capricious or discriminatory denials.

In applying for a concealed carry permit, the applicant must provide name; personal information; physical description; address(es) for the last five years; and history of any issuances, refusals or revocation of any carry licenses. The applicant may be required to provide a photograph, give fingerprints or allow access to mental health records. The applicant must also answer over 30 questions related to:

  •  Both adult and juvenile criminal history, including for pending charges, convictions, not guilty verdicts due to mental disease or defect for a wide variety of crimes including: drugs, weapons, crimes punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment; and threatened bodily injury.
  • Restraining orders; fugitive from justice status; drug abuse, drug addiction or drug dependency; dishonorable discharges from military; illegal alien status; and other good moral character issues.
  • Mental disorders that cause a danger to self or others; or adjudicated as mentally incapacitated without designation removed.

A permit shall be issued within 30 days for a resident of 5 or more years, otherwise it shall be issued within 60 days. The permit to carry concealed shall be valid for 4 years from the date of issue and valid throughout the state, unless revoked sooner. The fee for an original application is $35 for a resident, or $20 for a renewal.

Qualified nonresidents may apply to the Chief of the State Police and may be charged a fee of $60 for either an original or renewal application. If the permit holder changes his legal residence from one municipality to another during the term of the permit, the permit remains valid if he provides his new address to the issuing authority of his new residence within 30 days of making that change. The issuing authority of the new residence shall immediately reissue the permit with the corrected address for a fee of not more than $2.

If the permit holder is required by law to submit to chemical testing for the presence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or for conduct that occurs while the permit holder is in possession of a loaded firearm, and the permit holder refuses to submit to the required testing, the permit to carry a concealed firearm issued to that person is immediately suspended and must be surrendered at that time by the permit holder to the law enforcement officer.

A person may not carry a firearm onto public school property or an approved private school. Discharge of a firearm may not occurr within 500 feet of either public or private schools. The only exemption to this rule is for law enforcement officers.

Possession of an unloaded firearm is permissible if it is being used for a supervised educational program as authorized by the school board. Any person may possess an unloaded firearm in a locked vehicle, while stored inside a closed container or locked firearms rack, while that person is attending a hunters breakfast or other similar event that is held during hunting season and does not occur during regular school hours.

Possession and discharge may occur on a school property if it is occurs a part of a school operated gun range, or a school sanctioned program and is authorized by the school governing body.


It is lawful to possess a machine gun that is legally registered and possessed in compliance with all federal laws and regulations.

It is unlawful to hunt with or possess an automatic firearm while hunting.


State law prevents cities and other localities from enacting laws concerning the regulation of firearms, components, ammunition and supplies, which are not in conformity with state law. A municipality or any political subdivision of the state may not any ordinance, law or rule regulating hunting, fishing and trapping.

A municipality may not commence a civil action against any firearm or ammunition manufacturer for damages, abatement or injunctive relief resulting from or relating to the lawful design, manufacture, marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public. This section does not prohibit a municipality from bringing an action against a firearm or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty for firearms or ammunition purchased by a municipality.

A person is guilty of a criminal offense if, with the intent to defraud and to prevent identification, he alters, removes or obscures the manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing identification number, mark or symbol upon any firearm.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 100 yards of a residential dwelling without the permission of the owner or, in the owner’s absence, of an adult occupant of that dwelling.

It is unlawful to shoot or possess a loaded firearm while in or on a motor vehicle or motorboat or while in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle. This does not apply to disabled hunters in a motor vehicle not in motion, lawful hunting of migratory fowl from a motorboat, and loaded handguns in the possession of Maine concealed carry license holders.

It is unlawful to hunt or possesses for hunting any auto-loading firearm having a magazine capacity of more than 5 cartridges.

It is unlawful to hunt with a silencer, tracer bullets, exploding bullets or to hunt migratory game birds with a shotgun capable of holding more than 3 shells, unless the gun is modified to only allow 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined.

A person under the age of 10 years of age is not eligible for a hunting license.

It is unlawful to allow a junior hunter (under the age of 16) to hunt without that hunter’s parent or guardian or a person at least 18 years of age approved by that hunter’s parent or guardian who either holds a valid Maine hunting license or has successfully completed an approved hunter safety course. A hunter who is 16 years of age and who is hunting with a junior hunting license must complete a hunter safety course prior to hunting without the adult supervision required by this section.

The firearm ban in Acadia National Park has been amended to allow concealed carry by permit holders and by law enforcement.


The State intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of firearms, components, ammunition and supplies.

§ 2011. State preemption

  1. PREEMPTION. The State intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of firearms, components, ammunition and supplies. Except as provided in subsection 3, any existing or future order, ordinance, rule or regulation in this field of any political subdivision of the State is void.
  2. REGULATION RESTRICTED. Except as provided in subsection 3, no political subdivision of the State, including, but not limited to, municipalities, counties, townships and village corporations, may adopt any order, ordinance, rule or regulation concerning the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permitting, registration, taxation or any other matter pertaining to firearms, components, ammunition or supplies.
  3. EXCEPTION. This section does not prohibit an order, ordinance, rule or regulation of any political subdivision which, with the exception of appropriate civil penalty provisions, conforms exactly with any applicable provision of state law or which regulates the discharge of firearms within a jurisdiction.
  4. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. Nothing in this section limits the power of any law enforcement agency to regulate the type and use of firearms issued or authorized by that agency for use by its employees. For the purposes of this section "law enforcement agency" has the same meaning as set forth in section 3701.

Maine Code Title 12, Sections 11102, 11208, 11209, 11212, 11214, 13201; Title 15, Sections 455; 455-A; Title 17-A, Sections 1051, 1052, 1057; 2001-2006 2011; 2012

Last edited: 6/10/2016