Gun Dealers in Maine

See our Gun Dealers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Maine has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license. Firearms dealers are only subject to laws governing private sales generally.

Maine also has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies. However, Maine law requires federally licensed firearms dealers to:

  • Include a “basic firearm safety brochure” with every firearm sold at retail in Maine (unless the brochure is already provided by the firearm manufacturer);
  • Offer to demonstrate to the purchaser the use of a trigger locking device; and
  • Post in a conspicuous place information relating to the availability of local voluntary firearm safety programs.1

Under Maine law, 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.2

Maine law also requires retail firearms dealers to “conspicuously post” at each purchase counter the following warning, which recommends safe storage practices for firearms and ammunition, in block letters not less than one inch in height:

“ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD IS A CRIME. IF YOU LEAVE A FIREARM AND AMMUNITION WITHIN EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO FINE, IMPRISONMENT OR BOTH.
KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SEPARATE.
KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION LOCKED UP.
USE TRIGGER LOCKS.”3

Notes
  1. Me Rev. Stat. tit. 25, § 2012. ⤴︎
  2. See Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 25, § 2001-A (as amended by 2015 Me. S.B. 245). ⤴︎
  3. Me. Stat., 15 § 455-A(1). The warning also must be posted at all entrances of “an organized gun show.” Section 455-A(1-A). ⤴︎

Gun Industry Immunity in Maine

Maine prohibits municipalities from commencing 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.”1 This provision does not prohibit a municipality from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition manufacturer or dealer for breach of contract or warranty for firearms or ammunition purchased by a municipality.2

See our Gun Industry Immunity policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 30-A § 2005. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Gun Shows in Maine

Maine has only one law that explicitly regulates gun shows. The following sign must be posted at all entrances of an organized gun show, in block letters not less than one inch in height:

“ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD IS A CRIME. IF YOU LEAVE A FIREARM AND AMMUNITION WITHIN EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD, YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO FINE, IMPRISONMENT OR BOTH.
KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION SEPARATE.
KEEP FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION LOCKED UP.
USE TRIGGER LOCKS.”1

See the Minimum Age to Purchase or Possess section for additional laws that apply at gun shows.

See our Gun Shows policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 15 § 455-A(1-A). ⤴︎

Guns in Schools in Maine

Maine law generally prohibits possession of a firearm on public school property or the property of approved private schools.1

No law in Maine prohibits possession of a firearm on the campus of a college or university, although colleges and universities may regulate the possession of firearms on their own property.2

See our Guns in Schools policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Me. Stat. 20-A, § 6552. ⤴︎
  2. Me. Stat. 20-A, § 10009. ⤴︎

Guns in Vehicles in Maine

Maine has no law regarding unloaded firearms in vehicles. A person 21 years or older who is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm may have a loaded handgun in the vehicle.1

An employer may not prohibit an employee who has a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun from keeping a firearm in the employee’s vehicle as long as the vehicle is locked and the firearm is not visible.2

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 12 § 11212(1)(B). ⤴︎
  2. Me. Stat., 26 § 600. ⤴︎

Machine Guns & Automatic Firearms in Maine

Maine law prohibits knowingly possessing a machine gun; however, this prohibition does not apply to machine guns manufactured, acquired, transferred, or possessed in accordance with federal law.1

Federal law requires machine guns to be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), and generally prohibits the transfer or possession of machine guns manufactured after May 19, 1986.2 In December 2018, ATF finalized a rule to include bump stocks within the definition of a machine gun subject to this federal law, meaning that bump stocks will be generally banned as of March 26, 2019.3

See our Machine Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 17-A §§ 1051-1052. ⤴︎
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 922(o); 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d). ⤴︎
  3. Bump-Stock-Type Devices, 83 Fed. Reg. 66,514 (Dec. 26, 2018) (to be codified at 27 C.F.R. pts. 447, 478, 479). ⤴︎