Maine

Maine Law

Maine Domestic Violence Firearm Purchase and Possession Prohibitions

Maine prohibits persons from owning, possessing, or having under their control a firearm if they have been convicted of committing or found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity of committing:

  1. Domestic violence assault;
  2. Domestic violence criminal threatening;
  3. Domestic violence terrorizing;
  4. Domestic violence stalking;
  5. Domestic violence reckless conduct; or
  6. A crime under the laws of the United States or any other state that is substantially similar to the crimes listed above.1

Maine prohibits persons from owning, possessing, or having under their control a firearm if they are subject to an order of a court of the United States or of a state, territory, commonwealth, or tribe that:

  1. restrains that person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of that person or a child of the intimate partner of that person, or from engaging in other conduct that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the intimate partner or the child;
  2. was issued after a hearing for which the person received actual notice and at which that person had the opportunity to participate; and
    1. includes a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of an intimate partner or child; or
    2. by its terms, explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against an intimate partner or a child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.2

MAINE CIVIL PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ORDER FIREARM REMOVAL

Protection from Abuse Orders that Require Removal

A court issuing a temporary protection from abuse order may “direct the defendant not to possess a firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow, crossbow, or other dangerous weapon for the duration of the order if the * demonstrates:

  1. Abuse that involves a firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow, crossbow, or other dangerous weapon; or
  2. A heightened risk of immediate abuse to the plaintiff or a minor child. In determining whether a heightened risk of immediate abuse is present, the court shall consider, but is not limited to consideration of, whether:
    1. The temporary order of protection is not likely to achieve its purpose in the absence of such a condition;
    2. The defendant has violated orders of protection;
    3. Past or present abuse to a victim resulted in injury;
    4. The abuse occurred in public; and
    5. The abuse includes:
      1. Threats of suicide or homicide;
      2. Killing or threatening to kill pets;
      3. An escalation of violence;
      4. Stalking behavior or extreme obsession;
      5. Sexual violence;
      6. Excessive alcohol or drug use; and
      7. Abuse against a pregnant victim.”3

If the court orders the defendant not to possess a firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow, crossbow, or other dangerous weapon, the court shall direct the defendant to relinquish all firearms, muzzle-loading firearms, bows, crossbows, or other dangerous weapons in the possession of the defendant.4

A court issuing a protection from abuse order may direct the defendant “not to possess a firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow, crossbow or other dangerous weapon for the duration of the order[.]”5 If the court orders the defendant not to possess a firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow, crossbow, or other dangerous weapon, the court shall direct the defendant to relinquish all firearms, muzzle-loading firearms, bows, crossbows, and specified dangerous weapons in the possession of the defendant.6

Individuals Who May Petition for a Protection from Abuse Order

An adult who has been abused by a family or household member or a dating partner may petition for a temporary or final protection from abuse order.7 A person responsible for a minor child or a representative of the Maine Office of Child and Family Services may petition for a protection from abuse order on behalf of a minor child who is in the care or custody of a family or household member or a dating partner and who has been abused by a family or household member or dating partner.8

“Abuse” is defined as “the occurrence of the following acts between family or household members or dating partners or by a family or household member or dating partner upon a minor child of a family or household member or dating partner:

  1. Attempting to cause or causing bodily injury or offensive physical contact […]
  2. Attempting to place or placing another in fear of bodily injury through any course of conduct, including, but not limited to, threatening, harassing or tormenting behavior;
  3. Compelling a person by force, threat of force or intimidation to engage in conduct from which the person has a right or privilege to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the person has a right to engage;
  4. Knowingly restricting substantially the movements of another person without that person’s consent or other lawful authority by:
    1. Removing that person from that person’s residence, place of business or school;
    2. Moving that person a substantial distance from the vicinity where that person was found; or
    3. Confining that person for a substantial period either in the place where the restriction commences or in a place to which that person has been moved[.]”9

“Family or household member” is defined as:

  1. Spouses or former spouses;
  2. Domestic partners or former domestic partners;
  3. Individuals presently or formerly living together as spouses;
  4. Parents of the same child;
  5. Adult household members related by consanguinity or affinity; or
  6. Minor children of a household member when the defendant is an adult household member.10

“Dating partners” is defined as “individuals currently or formerly involved in dating each other, whether or not the individuals are or were sexual partners.”11

Removal Process

If the court orders the defendant to a temporary or final protection from abuse order not to possess a firearm, muzzle-loading firearm, bow, crossbow, or other dangerous weapon, the court shall direct the defendant to relinquish, within 24 hours after service of the order on the defendant or an earlier time the court specifies in the order, all firearms, muzzle-loading firearms, bows, crossbows, or other dangerous weapons in the possession of the defendant to (a) a law enforcement officer or (b) other individual for the duration of the order.12

Within 24 hours of relinquishment of firearms, muzzle-loading firearms, bows, crossbows, or other dangerous weapons to an individual other than a law enforcement officer, the defendant must file with the court or local law enforcement agency designated in the order a written statement that contains (a) the name and address of the individual holding the weapons and (b) a description of all weapons held by that individual.13

If there is probable cause to believe that the defendant has not relinquished firearms, muzzle-loading firearms, bows, crossbows, or other dangerous weapons, the court may issue a search warrant authorizing a law enforcement officer to seize such firearms, muzzle-loading firearms, bows, crossbows, and other dangerous weapons.14

Penalties for Violation

A violation of a temporary or final protection from abuse order is a class D crime when the defendant has prior actual notice.15 It is a class C crime when the defendant violates a final protection from abuse order through conduct that is reckless and that creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to the plaintiff named in the order.16

It is a class D crime for a person who is subject to an order that qualifies under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) to possess a firearm.17

A class D crime is punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $2,000.18

A class C crime is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.19

This page was updated February 25, 2020. Please note that data used are the most recent available data.