Maine Constitutional Carry. Maine Open & Concealed Carry Laws

State of Maine Capitol Building in Augusta, ME
State of Maine Capitol Building in Augusta, ME

Maine Constitutional Carry. Maine Open and Concealed Carry Laws

This article will provide an overview of the state of Maine gun laws.

We will cover Constitutional Carry in Maine, as well as Open Carry and Concealed Carry gun laws in Maine.

Maine is one of the more gun-friendly states in the country and has passed laws to make it easier for law abiding citizens to protect themselves with a firearm if they choose to do so.

Maine is a Constitutional Carry state.

Constitutional Carry is legal in Maine for anyone 21 or older that can legally possess a handgun. This means there is no permit required to carry a concealed handgun in the state of Maine.

As in all states, Maine Constitutional Carry Law has restrictions, so please continue reading to be sure you stay on the right side of the law.

Disclaimer: This article is NOT LEGAL ADVICE and is for Informational Purposes Only. Gun Laws can be tricky and unclear at times and changes are made often. We take no responsibility for the use or misuse of any information contained in this article. You are responsible for knowing the gun laws if you are going to carry a gun. Consult a Lawyer with any questions. See Footnote*

What is Constitutional Carry?

Carrying a handgun legally without a license or permit is referred to as “Constitutional Carry” or “Permitless Carry”. Many states (25 as of August, 2022) have adopted a version of this law to allow Americans that can legally possess a gun to exercise their Second Amendment rights. More states are considering passing similar laws in the near future.

Also See: Which States Have Constitutional or Permitless Carry?

Be aware that every state has different restrictions and rules regarding Constitutional Carry, so be sure to check them before you carry.

Maine Open Carry Laws

The state of Maine allows Open Carry without a permit or license for those 21 years of age or older. As with any state, you must not be a prohibited person on the State or Federal level to carry a handgun.

Some of the prohibited areas for Open Carry include schools and courthouses.

Maine Concealed Carry Laws

Maine allows Concealed Carry without a permit for those 21 and older. If you are 18, you need a Maine CCH (Carry Concealed Handgun) Permit to carry concealed. If 18 and in the military, you do NOT need the permit.

Concealed carry in Maine is allowed for non-residents that are 21 years of age or older and can legally possess a handgun. Maine recognizes concealed carry permits from states that recognize Maine’s CCH.

Those with a recognized permit can carry in some places that Constitutional or Permitless carriers cannot. These areas include Acadia National Park.

Maine is a shall-issue state. This means that as long as a CCH applicant meets the requirements, he/she will be issued a permit, regardless of whether the issuing agent believes applicant “deserves” or has a specific reason to have such a license.

The minimum age is 18 in order to get a CCH in Maine.

For information on other state’s concealed carry laws, see: States that allow Concealed Carry


  • There have been 27,000 permits issued in Maine.
  • Maine state population is 1.3 million.
  • Percentage of the population of Maine with a permit is about 2%.
  • States that currently honor the Maine carry permit: 29.
  • Maine currently honors 29 other states permits.
  • Concealed carry permits in Maine are good for 4 years.
  • Maine is a “shall issue” state. (Shall- issue means that if you apply for a permit they will issue you one unless there is a legal reason not to. Such as if you are a convicted felon.)
concealed carry gun in Alabama

Minimum age to get a Maine Pistol Permit

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a pistol permit (CCH) in the State of Maine.

How to get a CCH in State of Maine

The Maine concealed carry permit is called a Permit to Carry Concealed Handgun (CCH). It may be referred to as a permit, license to carry or concealed carry permit. It all means the same thing for the purposes of this article.

See the Concealed Carry Page of the Maine State Police Website for information of the permit process and links to download an application.

Maine Concealed Carry Reciprocity with other states

Maine recognizes Concealed Carry Permits from states that recognize Maine’s CCH. Also, Maine’s Constitutional Carry allows anyone from any state that is over the age of 21 to carry a concealed handgun. You must be legally allowed to possess a handgun under all State and Federal laws.

It is a good idea to consider a legal protection membership if you have decided to carry a deadly weapon for self defense. If you ever need to use your firearm to protect yourself or your family, you will need to deal with the police. You may need the services of a lawyer to help you navigate the legal system.

It is not uncommon for someone to be detained, arrested and even charged with a crime after a completely legal self defense incident. Until everything is cleared up, you may need legal representation which can be extremely expensive.

Having a membership with Firearms Legal Protection will cover these costs and provide an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.

Firearms Legal Protection starting at $9.95/month*

Firearms Legal Protection Discounted Rates

FLP is highly regarded and recommended by some of the top names in the self defense firearms industry. At least check them out before you make a decision.

Who CANNOT Obtain a Concealed Carry Permit in Maine?

  • Anyone under the age of 18.
  • Anyone who is prohibited by Federal or State law from possessing a firearm.

Maine Carry Location Restrictions FAQs

Are there places I cannot carry a firearm, even if I have a CCH Permit in Maine?

Maine’s Constitutional Carry Law does NOT change where a person may or may not carry a handgun.

Under Maine State Law, concealed handguns are prohibited in these locations even with a CCH permit (exceptions are listed in the next paragraph):

  • All Courthouses
  • All State Parks
  • Acadia National Park (See exception below)
  • Schools
  • Federal buildings
  • State Capitol area
  • Private property when prohibited by the property owner
  • Restaurants, Bars or other Establishments licensed for on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages, if the premises are posted that handguns are prohibited.  Note that even if the location is NOT posted, it is still illegal to carry a gun while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries
  • Labor disputes and strikes.
  • Baxter State Park. See Baxter State Park Rules & Permits.
    Allagash Wilderness Waterway See Section 2.19 of Rules & Regulations for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

Here are some exceptions in which a person with a valid Maine CCH or recognized out-of-state Concealed Carry Permit may carry a concealed handgun. Those without a permit may not carry in these locations or situations.

  • Regular archery hunting-deer only  (Permit required. See:12 MRS § 11403)
  • Employees’ vehicles on work premises (You must have a permit, the gun must not be visible and the vehicle must be locked. See: 26 M.R.S. §600)


You should be attentive for signs warning of restricted areas especially when carrying firearms into public places.

Maine gun laws: Bar restaurant in Maine

Can I Carry in Restaurants or Bars in Maine?

Yes. The State of Maine does not have a law prohibiting the carry of a handgun into a restaurant or bar as long as there are no signs posted otherwise. You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Can I carry concealed in a vehicle in Maine?

Yes, it is legal to concealed carry in a vehicle in Maine.

Can I Carry in State Parks, National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas of Maine?

Yes, BUT YOU MUST HAVE A PERMIT to Carry in state and national parks in Maine. However, any buildings in a National Park are Federal buildings and are off limits to handguns even with a permit.

Wildlife Management Areas allow permitless carry in Maine.


FAQ Maine Laws Regarding the Sale or Transfer of Firearms

Here are some common questions dealing with the purchase of a gun, magazine or ammunition in Maine.

Is a permit required to purchase firearms in Maine?

No permit is needed to purchase a handgun in Alabama. Having an Maine Pistol Permit does NOT exempt you from a background check.

Do Private-party sales and transfers require a background check in Maine?

No. Private sales in the state of Maine do not require a background check. However, sales to people that are prohibited by Federal or State law from owning a handgun are still prohibited. Any private seller may request assistance from participating gun dealers (FFLs) in determining if a potential buyer has a criminal record.

Does Maine have a waiting period when buying a handgun?

No. there is no waiting period to buy a gun in Maine.

Do I need to Register my handguns in Maine?

No. Maine does not require handgun registration.

Does Maine have magazine limits for handguns?

No. There are no magazine restrictions in the State of Maine (ME).

Are there restrictions on the purchase of ammunition in Maine?

Yes. Ammunition designed to penetrate bullet proof vests is prohibited in Maine. This ammunition may be referred to as Armor Piercing bullets.


FAQ About Firearms Laws in Maine

Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding gun laws in Alabama. Please read these if you are going to be legally carrying a gun and want to do it right!

Is There a Duty to Retreat in Maine?

No. Maine is a “Stand Your Ground” State and Also a “Castle Doctrine” State. You do not need to retreat from a deadly threat before you resort to using deadly force to defend yourself or your family. This is assuming deadly force is justified.

Is there a ‘Red Flag” law in Maine?

No, Maine does have not currently have a Red Flag Law.

Are “No Guns” signs enforced by law in Maine?

Yes. Maine does enforce “No Guns” or “No Weapons Allowed” signs. If you carry into an establishment that has clearly posted sign prohibiting gun and/or weapons, you will be guilty of trespass.

Is there a Duty to inform law enforcement that I am carrying a gun in Maine?

Yes and No. If you are carrying without a permit in Maine, you are required inform a law enforcement officer that you are carrying a firearm any time you make contact with a law enforcement officer for any reason.

If you have a concealed carry permit, you are not required to inform law enforcement immediately upon contact with an officer.

Here is an excellent video on How to Navigate a Traffic Stop While Carrying a Handgun.

If and when you do inform law enforcement, simply tell the officer you are legally carrying a concealed handgun. Never touch or reach for the gun, just hand the officer your permit (if applicable) along with your drivers license or ID and wait for his or her instructions. Always keep your hands in plain sight and make no sudden or furtive movements.

law enforcement traffic stop

A Word of Advice and Additional questions

I will just leave you with a word of advice. Always use common sense when carrying a handgun in Maine or any other location, concealed or otherwise.

You must avoid confrontation at all times and never allow yourself to get into an argument of any kind with anybody. If you are carrying a firearm, you are essentially bringing a deadly weapon into every interaction you have in your daily life.

  • If someone cuts you off in traffic, LET IT GO.
  • If someone cuts in line in front of you, LET IT GO.
  • If someone starts trouble, LEAVE or CALL 911.

You must never instigate a problem or escalate an issue. If you get into an argument on the street and it ends with you drawing your weapon, you had better be the picture of innocence if you want to claim self defense.

If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.

*Footnote

Please keep in mind that these Maine gun laws can change at any time. It is your responsibility as the gun owner to know the laws in the states, counties, buildings and properties where you will be carrying your firearm.

Do not base your decision to carry your firearm in Maine or any other location solely on this article. I make no guarantee that this information is accurate at the time you read it, although I will endeavor to keep it up to date and accurate. I am not a lawyer. I am simply providing this information that I have gathered from various trustworthy sources in one place for your convenience.

Sources:

2 thoughts on “Maine Constitutional Carry. Maine Open & Concealed Carry Laws”

    • Gary, Thanks for the correction! I made the changes in the article. It appeared on another site that I use as a source that Maine honors “50 states” Concealed Carry Permits. However, in the text it does clarify that the States must honor Maine’s permit. Thanks for the comment, I want my info to be clear and accurate.

      Dave

      Reply

Leave a Comment