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Legal Information: Maine

State Gun Laws

Updated: 
March 4, 2020

I have a temporary ex parte protection from abuse order against the abuser. Can the abuser have a gun?

Under Maine state law, the judge can order the defendant not to possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon while the temporary protection from abuse order is in effect if the complaint that you filed demonstrates:

  • abuse that involves a firearm or other dangerous weapon; or
  • that there is a “heightened risk” of immediate abuse to you or your minor child.1

In determining whether a “heightened risk” of immediate abuse exists, the judge must consider if:

  • the temporary protection from abuse order is not likely to achieve its purpose without a firearm/weapon prohibition;
  • the defendant has violated past orders of protection;
  • past or present abuse resulted in injury;
  • the abuse occurred in public; and
  • the abuse includes:
    • threats of suicide or homicide;
    • killing or threatening to kill pets;
    • an escalation of violence;
    • stalking behavior or extreme obsession;
    • sexual violence;
    • excessive alcohol or drug use; or
    • abuse against a pregnant victim.1

If the judge prohibits the defendant from possessing dangerous weapons or firearms in the temporary protection from abuse (PFA) order, the judge will direct the defendant to turn them over to a law enforcement officer or other individual within 24 hours after service of the PFA order on the defendant. The defendant has the right to file a motion in court to reverse this decision.1

Note: If the weapons are given to an individual (not law enforcement), the defendant must file a written statement that contains the name and address of the person holding the weapons and a description of all weapons held by that person within 24 hours after giving him/her the weapons to hold. The judge may later issue a search warrant authorizing a law enforcement officer to seize any firearms and other dangerous weapons at any location if there is probable cause to believe such firearms or dangerous weapons have not been turned over by the defendant.1

1 ME ST T. 19-A § 4006(2-A)