Frequently Asked Questions
Is it legal to carry a gun in a bank or credit union?
Yes, assuming the bank isn't posted with a sign to the effect that firearms are prohibited. If you carry a gun into a posted area, and you are asked to leave, do so immediately, or you may be charged with trespass.
Is it legal to carry a gun in a hospital?
There is no Maine law that restricts the carrying of firearms in hospitals. If they are private property, the management may prohibit firearms on their premises, as may any private property.
Note, however, that a state-run hospital in the Augusta Capital Area, like Riverview Psychiatric Center, would be covered under the same administrative rule prohibiting firearms which applies to any State of Maine property in the City of Augusta.
Is it legal to carry a gun in a Federal Building?
No. Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm in Federal facilities. See 18 USC 930.
Is it legal to carry a gun in a Post Office?
No. Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm on Post Office premises, like all Federal facilities. See 18 USC 930.
Is it legal to carry a gun in a restaurant or bar?
First, we need to get our definitions straight, because there is a lot of confusion about what sort of establishments are covered under the law.
Maine gun laws don't refer to "bars"; they apply to "establishments licensed for the on-premises consumption of liquor". Some people believe that the law applies only to establishments that derive more than 50% of their revenue from liquor sales, or establishments that serve liquor but not food, or some other formulation. If the establishment is licensed for the on-premises consumption of liquor, the law applies, whether it's a waterfront bar or the neighborhood Applebee's. It doesn't matter if you're sitting in the bar area or at a dining room table.
So, now that we know where the law applies, what is the law? The applicable statute is 17-A MRSA 1057, which states (in part):
§1057. Possession of firearms in an establishment licensed for on-premises consumption of liquor
1. A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm if:
A. Not being a law enforcement officer or a professional investigator licensed under Title 32, chapter 89 and actually performing as a professional investigator, the person possesses any firearm on the premises of a licensed establishment posted to prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of patrons, in violation of the posted prohibition or restriction; or
B. While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or a combination of liquor and drugs or with an excessive alcohol level, the person possesses a firearm in a licensed establishment.
3. (It is not a defense to a prosecution under subsection 1 that the person holds a permit to carry a concealed handgun issued under Title 25, chapter 252.
6. Criminal possession of a firearm is a Class D crime. In addition, as part of every judgment of conviction and sentence imposed, the court shall:
A. Revoke any permit to carry a concealed firearm issued to the person so convicted; and
B. If the person so convicted is licensed as a professional investigator, suspend for a period of 5 years that person's permit to carry a concealed firearm.
A person convicted of a violation of this section is not eligible to obtain or apply for a permit to carry a concealed firearm for 5 years from the date of that conviction.
What this means is that, if the licensed establishment has posted a notice -- which is likely to come to your attention -- prohibiting firearms on those premises, it is a Class D crime to possess a firearm there, whether or not you possess a Concealed Handgun Permit. If you do have a CHP, it will be revoked, and you will not be eligible to obtain one for five years.
So, if a place that serves liquor has a sign saying "No Guns", either don't go in or leave your gun behind.
What is Constitutional Carry?
Maine’s Constitutional Carry law (a.k.a. Permitless Carry) went into effect on October 15, 2015. Anyone who is 21 years of age or older (or 18 years of age and on active duty in, or honorably discharged from, the US Armed Forces the National Guard) and not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm may carry a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit from the government.
The text of the new law can be read at http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0245&item=19&snum=127