The Special Investigations Unit provides concealed handgun permits for approximately 360 municipalities in Maine as well as all out of state permits. In excess of 9,600 permits were processed in 2014 by this unit.
This agency strongly recommends that all persons carrying firearms be familiar with firearms safety and the circumstances under which deadly force may be used.
Notice to Applicants
Effective October 15, 2015, Public Law 2015, Chapter 327 (LD 652), “An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed Handguns without a Permit,” allows a person who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Maine without a permit. This law also authorizes a person to possess a loaded pistol or revolver while in a motor vehicle, trailer or other vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle.
Concealed carry without a permit is limited to people who are 21 or older, with the following exception: If a person is 18 years of age or older, and is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the National Guard, and is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm, the person may carry a concealed handgun. A person who is 18-20 years old and without the referenced military qualifications must have a permit to carry concealed. The law applies to both residents of Maine and non-residents.
The law does not otherwise change where a person may carry or who may possess a firearm. It will still be illegal to possess a firearm in the following places, with some very limited exceptions:
- Courthouses (17-A M.R.S. § 1058)
- State Parks (12 M.R.S. § 1803(6), (7) and Bureau of Parks and Lands Rules Chapter 1)
- Acadia National Park (12 M.R.S. § 756)
- Schools (20-A M.R.S. § 6552)
- Federal buildings (18 U.S.C. § 930)
- State Capitol area (25 M.R.S. § 2904 & DPS Rule Chapter 41)
- Private property when prohibited by the property owner
- Establishments licensed for on-premises consumption of liquor, if the premises are posted. Note that even if there is no posted prohibition, it is illegal to carry on these premises while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. (17-A M.R.S. §1057)
- Wildlife Sanctuaries (as listed in 12 M.R.S. § 12707)
- Labor disputes and strikes (32 M.R.S. § 9412(5))
- Baxter State Park (as prohibited by Rules)
Allagash Wilderness Waterway (as prohibited by rules)
There will be some circumstances in which an optional handgun permit will authorize the permittee to carry in certain locations or during an activity when an unpermitted person could not:
- Acadia National Park (Maine Permit required; 12 M.R.S. §756) NOTE: Pursuant to 25 M.R.S. 2001-A (2)(F), Maine will recognize a concealed handgun permit issued by another state to its resident if that state recognizes Maine’s resident concealed handgun permits. A resident permit from that state is valid for concealed carry of a handgun within Acadia National Park
- State Parks (Permit required; open carry not permitted; 12 M.R.S. § 1803(7))
- Regular archery hunting-deer only (Permit required; 12 MRS § 11403)
- Employees’ vehicles on work premises (Permit required; vehicle must be locked and firearm must not be visible; 26 M.R.S. §600)
If an individual is carrying a concealed handgun without a permit, he/she has a duty, when coming into contact with any law enforcement officer during a routine stop, detention or arrest, to immediately inform the law enforcement officer that the individual is carrying a concealed handgun.
The law pertains only to handguns, not all weapons. It is important to remember that this law does NOT authorize persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms to carry them. If a person is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, this law does nothing to change that prohibition. A person may be prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under state law, federal law, or both. Prohibitions include convictions (felony and qualifying misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence); some juvenile adjudications; many protection from abuse orders, dishonorable discharge from the military; immigration status; deferred disposition status; certain mental health adjudications (civil involuntary commitment; finding of not guilty by reason of insanity; finding of not competent to stand trial) and certain probate adjudications. Prohibitions may also be imposed by conditions of bail, probation, and deferred disposition agreements.
Firearms laws are complex. The summary above is necessarily an overview. Persons may wish to contact qualified private counsel and or review the applicable law if they have questions regarding whether they can legally possess firearms or ammunition. This agency is not authorized to give legal advice. This summary cannot be used as a defense to illegal activity involving firearms or ammunition.
Law regarding carrying a concealed handgun without a permit
(Effective October 15, 2015)
- Summary of Public Law 2015, Chapter 327 (127th Legis., LD 652)
- Link to Public Law 2015, Chapter 327 (127th Legis., LD 652)
- Information concerning the use of handguns for self-defense
Please check this list to see if the State Police issues concealed handgun permits in the city\town you live in. If you do not see the name of the city\town you live in on this list please contact your respective city\town office for more information on how to apply for a concealed handgun permit. If you live in a city\town that has their own police department you must go through them to obtain a concealed handgun permit.
List of Towns the State Police Issue Concealed Handgun Permits for:
Frequently Asked Questions
Firearm laws can be complex. It is the responsibility of each person holding a Maine concealed handgun permit to check with the state/jurisdiction they are traveling to determine whether that state honors Maine’s permit and whether there are any restrictions or conditions imposed on out of state permits and the carrying of firearms.
Pursuant to LD 652/P.L. 2015 Chapter 327 the Department of Public Safety is required to post on their website 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.
- Learn about "Maine's Coalition to End Domestic Violence"
- Listing of Federal Firearms Licensees Participating in the State of Maine Resolve To Provide Assistance to Private Sellers of Firearms Chapter 53 LD 1138, Item 1, 124th Maine State Legislature (PDF)
Notice to Firearms Dealers
- Firearms Dealers
List of municipality of residence, issuance date, and expiration date of Resident Concealed Handgun Permits Issued by the Maine State Police:
List of municipality of residence, issuance date, and expiration date of Non-Resident Concealed Handgun Permits Issued by the Maine State Police:
This information, provided pursuant to 25 MRS §2006(2)