The National Rifle Association-supported LD 652 makes Maine the second New England state and the sixth state overall with a so-called constitutional carry law. Vermont has never required a permit for a law-abiding citizen to carry a concealed handgun.
“Maine now joins an ever-growing number of states in passing permitless carry,” said Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg-funded groups to distort the truth, the Maine legislature and Governor stood strong for freedom.”
As passed by the House and Senate, the bill would allow anyone 21 and older who is not prohibited to owning firearms to carry concealed. A provision added to the bill by the Senate and concurred by the House in a bipartisan vote of 87-60 June 5 also permits members of the military age 18 and older to carry firearms.
The action by Maine’s governor provided a sharp contrast to neighboring New Hampshire, where Gov. Maggie Hassan on Monday, July 6 vetoed similar legislation under pressure by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg-bankrolled gun control groups, despite the bill’s strong support in the legislature. On the eve of its final vote, Hassan met with members of Moms Demand Action and pledged a veto if the measure reached her desk.
Moms Demand Action is aligned with former Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety umbrella group.
“This was a common sense bill that would have protected law-abiding gun owners from inadvertently breaking the law,” said NRA-ILA’s Cox. “Since lawful gun owners in New Hampshire can already carry firearms openly without a permit, they should not become criminals just because they put on a jacket or place their firearm in a purse or briefcase.”