Maine has no law requiring a background check on the purchaser of a firearm when the seller is not a licensed dealer. The only Maine laws governing such sales are those addressing the age of the purchaser. However in 2009, the Maine Legislature adopted a resolution requiring the Department of Public Safety to assist private sellers who wish to obtain criminal history record information about potential purchasers of firearms.1
Under a law that Maine enacted in 2015, upon purchase of a handgun, the purchaser must sign in the presence of “the firearm dealer” an acknowledgment that the person was provided the state’s basic firearm safety brochure. The purchaser must retain this acknowledgment. This provision only applies to individuals who are exempt from the requirement of a concealed handgun permit under the 2015 law. However, the 2015 law exempts from this permit requirement any person age 21 or over who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms.2
See our policy summary on Universal Background Checks and the “Private” Sale Loophole for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.