After warning last month that he may not sign Maine’s Constitutional Carry bill because of a 21-or-older age requirement, Gov. Paul LePage has indeed made Legislative Document 652 a law.
LePage’s signature makes Maine the sixth state that allows residents to carry a firearm without needing a permit, joining Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Kansas. Vermont has never required a permit and continues not to. Arkansas and Montana allow limited forms of constitutional carry, according to this story from Reuters.
The governor had said in recent interviews that he didn’t disagree with constitutional carry, but wouldn’t sign the bill because of an amendment that was added, allowing only those over the age of 21 to carry without a permit. A provision was since added that grants the same privileges to active members of the military and veterans over the age of 18.
The law will take effect 90 days after the state’s legislature adjourns, which is expected in mid-July.
Until then, Maine’s current law allows gun owners to openly carry, but requires a background check, a licensing fee, a judgement of “good moral character” and evidence that the applicant can handle a gun safely to carry concealed.
Residents must be legally allowed to own a firearm before they can carry one.
In neighboring New Hampshire, Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a similar bill on Monday.