Constitutional carry, or concealed handgun carry without a permit, will now be allowed in Maine under a new law change.
Maine Governor Paul LePage signed Bill LD 652 into law Wednesday. This makes Maine the fifth state to allow the carrying of a concealed gun. They join Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Kansas in the small group of states allowing constitutional carry.
The new law allows for concealed carry by any resident over 21, so long as they are not prohibited from owning a firearm. Veterans over 18 years of age will also be able to carry under the new law.
Surprisingly, the bill passed with bipartisan support, according to Reuters. The new law is expected to take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the state legislature sometime in mid-July.
While Maine already allowed open carry of handguns, gun owners could only carry concealed weapons after background checks and licensing fees. They are also required to have “good moral character” and display they are able to safely handle a gun.
Gun groups argued the complicated law kept law-abiding citizens from carrying and deterred some from applying. Opponents, such as the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said weapons were kept out of felon’s hands under the previous law.
In addition to allowing concealed carry, the new law will also allow gun owners to have possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle or trailer.