Augusta, Maine – 6/30/2015
BREAKING: Constitutional Carry bill LD 652, has been passed by the Maine State Legislature with a final vote in the State Senate approving the bill by a vote of 23-12. The bill will now go to Governor Paul LePage for his expected signature.
The bill was passed by the House in early June and had been stalled in committee for the past few weeks.
LD 652, sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin), will allow all Maine Residents (who are not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm) the right to carry concealed without obtaining a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP). In addition, LD 652 would also leave the current carry permitting system intact for those who wish to per-use Maine’s reciprocity agreements with other states to allow them to legally carry while traveling outside of Maine.
Two amendments that were added to the final version of LD 652 are as follows: 1) A person under 21 years of age is prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon without a permit (unless the individual is active military). Current Maine law does allow for non-military individuals over the age of 18 to apply for a permit. 2) An individual carrying a concealed handgun who is stopped by law enforcement officers to immediately inform the officer of that concealed handgun.
As previously reported:
Governor Paul LePage threatened to veto the bill based on Age Discrimination due to the fact that it required gun owners to be 21 in order to exercise their right to bear arms. LePage, in a telephone interview with Ric Tyler and George Hale of radio station WVOM, said he opposes an age restriction added to the bill by the Maine House of Representatives, citing the fact that Members of the US Military would be excluded from the legislation.
In response to the Governor’s veto threat, the State Legislature passed an amendment proposed by LePage to allow members of the US Military between the ages of 18 and 21 to legally carry a concealed weapon without a permit under the bill. Given this amendment, the feeling in Augusta is that LePage will sign the bill, or allow it to pass into law without his signature. If LePage does veto the bill citing age discrimination issues, it is likely that his veto will be overridden given the bills majority support. Governor LePage had previously expressed his support for permitless carry.