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Maine’s New Constitutional Carry Law Cuts Reciprocity With Several States

cover of Maine's handgun laws book

Effective October 15, 2015, if you have a Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, or Virginia handgun license, you need to know that your state-issued carry license is no longer valid in Maine, U.S. Law Shield advised its members in a special alert. Recent developments in Maine law have made dramatic changes to both reciprocity and the conditions under which both residents and non-residents can carry a concealed handgun in the state. As of October 15, Maine no longer recognizes any out-of-state handgun license from states that do not recognize a Maine concealed handgun license.

This comes as a result of Maine enacting a type of constitutional carry earlier this year, with the law recently becoming effective.

cover of Maine's handgun laws book
Recent developments in Maine law have made dramatic changes to both reciprocity and the conditions under which both residents and non-residents can carry a concealed handgun in the state.
U.S. Law Shield and Texas Law Shield’s President Kirk Evans said, “For folks in one of the states where Maine does not recognize your carry license, this means you can still carry in Maine, but subject to a few unusual and important exceptions you need to know.” What this means is that anyone 21 or older who can legally possess a firearm can carry a concealed handgun in Maine without any type of permit or license. Active military and honorably discharged veterans age 18-20 can also carry concealed.

Further, anyone who meets the age requirement and is legally entitled to possess a handgun may have one loaded in their vehicle, trailer, or other vehicle being towed. However, locations that were previously off-limits for concealed carry will remain off-limits, including courthouses, federal buildings, bars, etc.

Evans added that without a valid license, you also cannot carry in the following places: Acadia National Park, state parks (open carry not permitted), and employee’s vehicles on work premises (vehicle must be locked and firearm must not be visible).

Evans said, “A valid and recognized license is still required to carry a handgun into these locations, and your Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas or Virginia license will not satisfy that requirement. However, Oklahoma and Missouri state-issued licenses are recognized in Maine at this time.” To sum up, Evans concluded, if you live in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, and have a license issued by one of those states, you can carry a concealed handgun in Maine even though your carry license is not recognized. “Just be sure to avoid any prohibited areas,” he said, “and if you have any questions, give us a call.” Similar to many states, if you are carrying concealed without a permit and are pulled over by Maine law enforcement, you have a duty to immediately inform the officer that you are carrying a concealed handgun.

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Comments (41)

  1. How come it is legal for someone with absolutely NO concealed carry permit but having a permit from one of the named states IS illegal? With this rationale what about a LEOSA permit which is federal and overrides any state law making it legal to carry concealed nationwide??

  2. Why a NationWide reciprocity Constitutional Carry to Legal Americans needs to be Enacted As a Back up Law to recognize the US Bill of Right 2nd Amendment.And amy Unlawful reaction in the Anti Gun Free zone areas in the Fifty will be considered treason and Imprisonment and Or Banishment from America needs to get done. Especially with Anti America refugees and Illegal and legal Aliens Socialist In America now with Communist like Bloomberg,Clintons and many more Low lifes who call themselves Americans !

  3. The state of GA is an open carry state, BUT only for long guns. You cannot open or CC a hand gun without a CCW permit. Limited situations you can. (not very many though). It is nice to know the other states laws.

  4. Hey I’ve been looking into some constitutional homeland security which is very interesting. So check out Edwin Viera jr.s books he has three different degrees at the moss brown Harvard college of arts and sciences Harvard Law school. The books are Three rights,Thirteen words, and Constutional Homeland security.
    Good luck.

  5. if we the people our the real government.and have the constitituion/bill of rights then how does states like new york california new jersey get away with breaking these laws.for which{shall not be infringed.and more important what can joe legal law abiding citizen do to fight these blatant law breakers.is there any law suits going on against this treasonous behavior from the government and some states.

  6. In the 1960’s, the Federal government sent Federal troops to southern states that stood in defiance of the US Constitution, esp in allowing blacks to attend specific public schools.

    Now, we have states that again defy the US Constitution, specifically denying those rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment, in NY, NJ, CT, CA, CO … etc. Ny has even created laws that are in direct contradiction to the Constitution. Worse, we have a Federal government that has made it their purpose to confiscate our guns, and and have undertaken UN support, possibly with troops on US soil in this endeavor. This is treason, as they have taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. It is NOT their elected responsibility to deny us our rights.

    We should be seeing Federal troops sent to these rogue secessionist states, and our Federal government should be forcing them to adhere to the rule of law, specifically enforcing the rights of We the People as provided by the Second Amendment.

    1. Daryl, you may not see U.N. on American soil enforcing Liberal Agenda gun confiscation, but you can wager all that you own, you will see Federal Troops and Nationalized National Guard Troops doing it. Look at the countries in which it has already happened. Then ask yourself: “How does the U.S. differ from these other countries?” The Powers-That-Be, in countries that went door-to-door, confiscating firearms, stepped over, around and on, their own constitutions that protected gun ownership. Do you really think that the 2nd Amendment will stop,or even slow them down, when they decide citizens have no right to own weapons? Want true gun freedom? Come to Paraguay, where even non-citizens can purchase and carry concealed guns, even if they are just visiting.

  7. I think you are missing something… Maine allows every legal gun owner in the country to carry concealed in Maine. They don’t recognise ccw license from states that don’t recognise Maine’s so the permits from those states are not recognized because they don’t recognise ours. You are still welcome to carry under our constitutional carry law.

  8. I’m rather confused here. My state, VT is 2A carry, open or concealed. It also recognizes every other states permits (I believe). As such, we have no CCW permit, and are not restricted from carying. If I were to drive to ME with my normal compliment of protection, and were stopped for any reason (headlight out etc), am i subject to difficulties? I always inform as a matter of course when I am CCW, just to avoid any surprises. SInce ME has apparently no CCW permit any more, I can’t get an out of state permit. Where is my legality? Would I be in trouble as I’m carrying by the laws of my state?

    1. As long as you meet the age requirements and are legally able to possess a firearm you can carry a concealed handgun in Maine. You must however, notify law enforcement during contact with them that you have a concealed weapon. Maine still has a ccw license which is now optional. It does away with the duty to notify law enforcement. They kept the ccw license for those that travel to reciprocal states that require a licence.

    2. Thanx Glenn. It’s always been a bit of a sticky wicket.. All legalities being met, VT has no restrictions on open or concealed and the thought of carrying in a non-license state has been scary. Most states don’t allow CC without some form of CC permit that the state recognises. Fortunately, VT has common sense laws, such as not carrying a loaded long gun in a vehicle (deer jacking) but a handgun can be carried any way at all including sitting on the seat next to you, or on your lap Works fine for me.

  9. Chris is correct.Open carry is Constitutional carry.This circumstance does seem odd at 1st, but at least we have an original of the 13 colonies that finally recognizes the 2nd amendment,for its non felonious citizens. Confusion could only follow in the context of state to state reciprocity with so many states Not completely recognizing the 2nd amendment literally.

    1. I’m not sure which State you are referring to as an “original 13 Colonies”. Vermont was #14, Maine didn’t become a State until 1820, coming in at #23. Don’t feel bad, most people think both of those States are due to their location.

  10. Read the damn article! With the exception of certain locations, it is legal to carry concealed in Maine! As far as being stopped ’cause your plate was Kentucky…. I call B.S. you were doing something wrong. Probably under Title 29 M.R.S.A.” breathing with the intent to live”. Regarding reciprocity, I agree that it is an asinine system but I’d rather have the states all agree to one process than have the feds step in to change it. The only thing we could do here to make Maine better would be to pass a law that all you out of staters could visit and spend your vacation money for one week every other year, but could never buy property or become permanent residence.

    1. mark, yea, I was doing something wrong. Had pulled into a rest area to take a leak. Trooper didn’t like my tag, my car, at the time I was driving a 1951 Plymouth, really didn’t like my attitude, or the fact that the black powder revolver I carried was perfectly legal any where in the U.S. by Federal Law and by State Law. The trooper was just to stupid to know his own State Laws. Haven’t been back since, didn’t loose anything there, so I don’t plan on returning,

    2. Mark says, “The only thing we could do here to make Maine better would be to pass a law that all you out of staters could visit and spend your vacation money for one week every other year, but could never buy property or become permanent residence.”

      Well Sir, I’ve never heard of a southerner say that he/she will retire and move up north, but I’ve heard tooooooo many Yankees say they are retiring and moving south. Please keep that in mind if you decide to move south.

    3. @fair

      Amen to that.

      I grew up in upstate New York and now proudly call myself a Virginian by adoption and temperment. Beautiful country in the northeast US, but that is completely offset by the politics.

  11. Why must we have open carry? This just draws attention that sometimes is harmful. Should you be at a scene where a crime has been committed and an Officer has to rush to the scene, all he sees is a dumb ass with a gun and that spells out DANGER. Wouldn’t it make sense to carry your weapon covered and out of sight? It is bad enough for an Officer these days as some big jerk will want to disarm you and use your gun on you ( as was the case in MO). My experience says it is only my business that I may have a gun concealed.

    1. Well, El, since YOU open carry, I have to ask why you think it should be unlawful?? What? You claim you have never open carried? I doubt that very much, unless you simply never carry at all or only “carry” either off-body or in DEEP concealment (where your gun isn’t accessible). Anyone who carries concealed regularly will occasionally be in an open carry situation.

      You think not? So the wind has never blown your jacket open – not even a little? You’ve never reached for an item on the top shelf in a store, or bent down to pick an item off the bottom shelf?

      People carrying concealed in Florida have been cited for “brandishing” in each of these instances and even simply because the gun printed in a way that the LEO considered too obvious.

      Open carry is generally not a good tactical choice, but LEGAL open carry is essential to protect the right to carry at all.

    2. In states like Texas, that is true because there you must be a CCW holder to open carry. However, in states like Virginia and Utah and others, every law abiding citizen can open carry whether they have a CCW or not.

    3. Why must we have open carry? Because we have the right to do so and a right not exercised is a right lost.

      I don’t know why people engage in these “WHAT IF?” scenarios such as the one posted above and then pretend that their scenario is reality.

      “WHAT IF an officer has to rush to the scene, all he see’s is a dumbass with a gun, and says, “hey you, dumb ass with the gun, I need some help, can you help me apprehend this guy?”

      “WHAT IF … WHAT IF … WHAT IF …”

      Open carry has been around for more than a century and I continuously hear morons spout their stupidity about how it “somehow” makes you a target, it’s more dangerous, blah, blah, blah, because they heard of some incident somewhere, at some point in time, where someone got injured, or something bad happened, and they decided to blame it on open carrying of a weapon.

      It’s as if they think the mere act of openly displaying a weapon is somehow going to turn some normally peaceful person into a homicidal maniac and cause them to attack the person carrying the weapon.

      Millions of people have open carried firearms over the years, hunters, private citizens, private armed guards, law enforcement, etc., and practically none of the stupid crap people claim will happen has ever happened. If you are open carrying, don’t keep your head in the clouds and pay attention to what is going on around you.

      You don’t need to be paranoid, but you do need to pay attention and that applies whether you are carrying a weapon or not.

      If you want to carry a concealed weapon fine; if you want to open carry a weapon, that is fine too. Either way it is none of anyone else’s business.

      Just simply carrying a weapon openly or concealed doesn’t violate anyone’s rights and is not a threat to anyone and it doesn’t “make you a target”.

    4. Stan, Carrying open or concealed, does violate someone’s rights. The rights of those stupid enough to attempt to rob or harm an armed individual. Actually read this sometime ago; A professional felon that made is living robbing and stealing was shot by a person with a legal carry. He sued because his being shot deprived him of his ability to make a living. But, what is even crazier than this, a jury awarded him $500,000 dollars. This despite the fact that he was convicted and sentenced to jail for attempted armed robbery.

  12. Yes very suspect that constitutional carry would infringe on other people’s right to carry a weapon. Any law not constitutional and made under the color of law is null and void we already have a 2nd amendment no ccw permit should be required anywere. Period..

  13. If I’m not a criminal in Colorado for the last sixty years why does Maine think I am. Maybe Colorado should stop recognizing Maine drivers licenses. Oh well one more place to put on my “never spend a dime in that state list”. To get a Concealed Carry Permit in CO you need to go through the NICS as well as this states background checks. They finger print you and you need to take certified classes and range time. So now Maine has decided that when I show up in there state I have the same right to concealed carry as my next door neighbor that smokes pot all day and couldn’t get a permit to carry here. That’s brilliant, Maine, great way to take one step forward and two steps back.

    1. E3, felons are not allowed, so not ‘everyone’ is allowed. If everyone was carrying the good would likely outweigh the bad anyhow and the weedheads who were out of line would be dealt with appropriately. I do agree with the safe handling and range time requirement(s)

  14. Just add the CCW to the federal requirement for the states to accept driver licences…as in…Driver Licences AND CCW permits…..NO other wording is needed….Gotta keep the feds from CHANGING State requirements…..imho

    1. No thanks, d. The U.S. Constitution says I have a God given right to keep and bear. No license or permission of ANY kind is required. States do not have the authority to infringe upon that right and it is inalienable. Where have you been?

  15. Things have certainly changed, for the good, in Maine. Was through there many years ago, before CCWs any where. Was carrying a black powder revolver, that was legal anywhere as it isn’t considered a weapon by the Federal Government and nearly all states, at the time. Maine Highway Patrol pulled me over. The reason, my Kentucky license plate. He wanted to know why I was in Maine. Of course, I was a wise-ass. He pulled me out found my revolver and went bat-crap-crazy. Fortunately, a supervisor rolled up, explained to the trooper that while it wasn’t legal to carry a gun in Maine, my revolver wasn’t considered a weapon, even in Maine. A very pissed of trooper let me go, an hour later I was somewhere else that wasn’t Maine.

    1. Are you saying that We the People should ask the Government for permission to do what the Constitution says is already our inalienable right to do? That is just odd.

  16. Um . . . sorry, but if it’s Constitutional Carry, why are there restrictions on person from states that do not recognize Maine’s carry permit. Especially since Maine no longer requires a permit to carry. This sounds pretty strange to me, so if anyone can give me an explanation as to why it makes sense, I would appreciate it.

    1. Why would we entrust our Federal ‘leaders’ to define our right to carry as Constitutional when they have openly declared their revulsion to the Constitution? Their traitorous support of the UN and its anti gun agenda leaves no trust of this band of rabble. This is America. Preserve, Protect, Defend!

  17. This damned patchwork of laws makes carrying in this country like wandering through a minefield. We shouldn’t have to have a lawyer and an 18 volume set of law books with us to do what the constitution of this country recognizes as our right………………..just as much as our freedom of speech, and we should be able to travel across this once great land without fear that our rights start at this border, stop at this border and begin again at the next.

    1. In more and more places in the U.S., just keeping and bearing arms in general is becoming like wandering through a mine field! That’s exactly how the gun-grabbing tyrants and many of our rulers and masters want it to be. They aren’t going to let a mere word like “infringed” stand in their way.

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