Maine is now the latest state to scrap concealed carry permitting in favor of so-called “constitutional carry,” where citizens can carry a concealed firearm without applying for any permit at all.
The statute, referred to by Second Amendment rights advocates as a “constitutional concealed carry,” applies to both residents and non-residents who are 21 or older, or military members age 18 or older,reported the Associated Press. That means that anyone who is not otherwise banned from possessing a firearm can now carry a concealed handgun in the state without a permit.
The law also authorizes a person to possess a loaded pistol or revolver while in a motor vehicle, trailer or other vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle.
Firearms are still prohibited in a number of places, including courthouses, schools, state parks, federal buildings and on private property when banned by the land owner.
Before the law went into effect, a gun owner first needed to obtain police-issued permit before being allowed to carry a concealed handgun. To get the permit, applicants had to go through background checks, have fingerprints taken, and fill out six pages of question about criminal history, domestic violence investigations, mental health disorders and drug use. Applicants were also required to present proof that they took a gun safety course and pay a $35 fee, explains Bangor Daily News.
Anti-gun advocates and some law enforcement officials have expressed concern about the law.
Maine joins Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Vermont and Wyoming (for residents) as full constitutional carry states, while Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Oklahoma allow permitless concealed carry under conditions.