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Legal Information: Maine

State Gun Laws

Laws current as of November 28, 2023

I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

Under Maine state law, it is illegal to have or buy a firearm if any of the following apply:

  1. As an adult, s/he was convicted of, or found “not criminally responsible by reason of insanity” for, any of the following:
    1. domestic violence assault;
    2. domestic violence criminal threatening;
    3. domestic violence terrorizing;
    4. domestic violence stalking;
    5. domestic violence reckless conduct;
    6. a crime in Maine that is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year or a similar crime in another state;
    7. a federal crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year;
    8. a crime in another state that is punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year, not including misdemeanor crimes that are punishable by a prison sentence of two years or less; or
    9. any crime committed while using a firearm or other dangerous weapon in Maine, in another state, or in the Passamaquoddy Tribe or Penobscot Nation;1
  2. As a juvenile, s/he was found to have engaged in conduct that would have been considered any of the above-mentioned crimes if s/he committed the act as an adult;2
  3. There is a protection order against him/her where the victim is an “intimate partner,” which the law defines only as: 1) a current or former spouse; 2) someone s/he has a child in common with; or 3) someone who s/he currently lives with or used to live with. It does not cover other dating partners. The protection order must have been issued after notice and a hearing in Maine or in any other state, U.S. territory, commonwealth or tribe, and it must do both of the following:
    • order the abuser to not:
      • harass, stalk, or threaten an intimate partner or a child of his/her intimate partner; or
      • act in a way that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear or bodily injury to himself/herself or to his/her child; and
    • either:
      • include a determination that s/he represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner or child; or
      • specifically prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against an intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury;3
  4. S/he was involuntarily committed to a hospital because s/he was found to present a likelihood of causing serious harm;
  5. S/he was found to be “not criminally responsible by reason of insanity” for any crime;
  6. S/he was found to be “not competent to stand trial” for any crime;
  7. S/he is a fugitive from justice;
  8. S/he illegally uses, or is addicted to, any controlled substance and as a result cannot possess a firearm under federal law (18 USC § 922(g)(3));
  9. S/he is illegally in the U.S. or s/he was admitted under a nonimmigrant visa and is prohibited from possession of a firearm under federal law (18 USC § 922(g)(5));
  10. S/he was a U.S. citizen and gave up his/her citizenship; or
  11. S/he has been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.4

Additionally, anyone who has a protection from abuse order against him/her that prohibits him/her from having a firearm or other dangerous weapon- regardless of the relationship with the victim- would also be prohibited from having a firearm or dangerous weapon while that protection order is in effect.5 If the abuser violates the terms of the order by having a gun or dangerous weapon after being notified of the order, the police can make an arrest and it can be a Class C or D crime.6

After a certain amount of time passes, a person who was convicted of a crime could regain the right to get a firearm by applying for a permit. See If the abuser is prohibited from getting a firearm permit due to a criminal conviction, does the prohibition expire after a certain amount of time? for more information.

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict a person’s right to have a gun under certain circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.

1 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1)(A-1), (1-B)
2 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1)(C)
3 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1)(D); 18 USC § 921(a)(32)
4 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1)(E) - (J)
5 ME ST T. 19-A §§ 4108; 4110
6 ME ST T. 19-A § 4113; 17-A § 506-B(3)