AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill on Wednesday that will make Maine one of a handful of states where residents are free to carry a hidden firearm without a permit.

The bill’s success is a huge victory for gun-rights advocates who have long fought to get rid of the concealed handgun permit requirement, which they say doesn’t do anything to make the public safer.

“It really is a historic day in the state of Maine that this common-sense measure is finally signed into law,” said Sen. Eric Brakey, the Republican who sponsored it.


The law is expected to go into effect in October, or 90 days after lawmakers adjourn, which they plan to do later this month.

Maine will join five states, including Kansas and Vermont, with such a policy, according to the National Rifle Association. It’s also allowed in Arkansas and Montana, but not everywhere in the state, an NRA spokesman said. New Hampshire’s Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a similar bill on Monday and it isn’t expected to have enough support in the Legislature to go into law over her objections.

Under Maine’s permit process, residents have to pay a fee, pass a background check and prove that they’ve participated in firearm safety training or demonstrate an understanding of handgun safety.


Source: Alanna Durkin,