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Maine has liberal gun laws and this makes it easy to own and handle a firearm as long as you are not facing any legal prohibition. Knowing the gun laws will help you know what to expect when visiting a gun range in Maine. Both federal and state laws apply when it comes to gun ownership and handling.
Do You Need a Gun Permit to Shoot at a Gun Range in Maine?
You do not require a gun permit to shoot at a gun range in Maine. As a Constitutional Carry and shall issue state, you are permitted to own and carry a firearm without a permit. However, you need to be 21 years or older.
Any adult between 18 -20 years would however require a permit unless he or she is a member of the Armed Forces or National Guard.
If you are from another state, you should check if your state of origin enjoys the same gun laws as Maine residents under Reciprocity law. Maine honors only resident permits from states under its reciprocity agreement. Residents from states with permitless carry continue to enjoy this freedom in Maine. These states include:
- New Hampshire
Gun ranges in the state will therefore use the state and federal laws on their premises. However, you should check whether your gun range of choice has any restrictions under its rules and regulations. Age restrictions are one important area that you need to check with the firing range.
Concealed Carry Weapons Permit
As mentioned, Maine allows for permitless carry for its residents above the age of 21 years. However, the following would need to apply for this permit:
- Residents aged 18-20 years
Some instances also require the presence of a concealed carry weapon permit:
- Gun carriers accessing Acadia National Park
- Concealed carriers visiting state parks
- Concealed weapon stored in gun cases or range rifle backpacks in employees’ vehicles parked on work premises
This permit is valid for four years and you can get it through the State Police. For people who have residents of the state for over 5 years, the processing takes 30 days. If you have been a resident for less than five years, expect a waiting period of 60 days.
Processing of the permit application involves:
- Assessing your moral character for the past 5 years
- Checking for conviction on any firearm violations at an establishment licensed for liquor consumption in the last 5 years
- Checking for any law enforcement investigations for family abuse for the past 5 years
- Any criminal convictions leading to imprisonment
- Checking for a criminal conviction for drug-related charges in the past 5 years
Getting this permit, while not obligatory, allows you peace of mind as you deal with authorities. Any law officer stopping you on the way to or from the gun range will only need to see the permit and ID. If you are carrying a concealed firearm, you need to inform law enforcers should you encounter them at a traffic stop.
To apply for concealed carry weapon permit in Maine, you need to satisfy the following requirements:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Show adequate competence in handling firearms
- Not be legally prohibited from handling a weapon based on set federal laws
- Pay the required application fee
As Maine gun ranges do not require you to present a gun permit to use the facilities, you will have quick access to the facilities with minimal hassle while checking in. However, if you are from a state that enjoys permitless carry like Arizona, be sure to check whether you fall under reciprocity laws that give you similar privileges in this state as well.