WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Maine

State Gun Laws

View all
March 4, 2020

If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?

Under Maine state law, a person cannot get a firearm permit –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” of) any of the following crimes:
  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. If it was “a crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of one year or more,” the prohibition only applies if, while committing the act, s/he caused bodily injury to another person or bodily injury was threatened;2
  3. s/he was found to be “not criminally responsible by reason of insanity” for any crime;
  4. s/he was found to be “not competent to stand trial” for any crime; or
  5. s/he is a fugitive from justice.3

Note: In some situations, the restriction on getting a permit only lasts for a certain period of time. Once five years has passed after the adult or juvenile completes the sentence imposed as a result of one of the following convictions, s/he can re-apply for a permit to carry a firearm (but s/he still cannot get get a permit to carry a concealed handgun):

  • for adults, committing a crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of one year or more (usually, a felony); or
  • for juveniles, committing:
    • the crime described in paragraph 2 (above); or
    • any crime committed while using a firearm or other dangerous weapon in Maine, in another state, or in the Passamaquoddy Tribe or Penobscot Nation.4

However, if the conviction was for one of the domestic violence crimes listed in paragraph 1, there is the additional requirement that the person must not have been convicted of any crimes during the five-year period after completing the sentence. If the person is convicted of a new crime during the five-year period, s/he has to wait an additional five years after the sentence for that new crime is completed before applying for the firearm permit.5

The length of the prohibition is even shorter if the crime was nonviolent and was committed by a juvenile. If the juvenile did not cause or threaten bodily injury while committing any of the acts described in paragraph 1, s/he can get a firearm permit when s/he turns 18 or three years after completing of the sentence, whichever is later.6

Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, may restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun. 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), (1-B)(B)
3 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1)(E)(2)-(3), (1)(F)
4 ME ST T. 15 § 393(2)
5 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1-B)(B)
6 ME ST T. 15 § 393(1-A)