A perfectly normal day can turn into something terrible and traumatic anytime. Those fortunate ones would only fear to remember those terrible times, but the unfortunate ones could lose something in them and worse death. Predators or people with ill intentions are just around the corner, at the school, at the parking spot at the mall or much worse in your safe havens– your home.
There is no way to escape this except by being prepared. Sometimes the best offense, is how we prepare our Defense. It is when the perpetrators underestimate you, and that’s the best time to strike-those minuscule moments might be your saving grace to escape calamity.
How do you prepare when you don’t have the time, resources and the strength to attend self-defense classes? Easy, get a good self-defense weapon. Here’s a guide to some of the most popular and legal self-defense weapons in The State of Maine.
Maine Stand Your Ground Law
A Stand Your Ground law basically means that you have a right to defend yourself or your property if under attack. Many states in the US have them. Quite surprisingly Maine does not have a stand your ground law, and there is a duty to retreat before force for self-defense can be used. Justifying self-defense can be applied if you are inside your premises as per MAINE CRIMINAL CODE §104.
Knives are Legal in Maine
But not all knives are legal to carry in Maine. What does this mean?
It is legal to own all types of knives including switchblades and automatic knives. However, the laws in the state concerned the concealed carry of knives are more ambiguous. Recent changes in the law and cases that have tried to illuminate distinctions in what makes a weapon “dangerous” have led to confusion.
Here’s a list of what knives are legal to own in Maine.
- Pocket knives
- Bowie knives
- Single-edged and double-edged fixed blades
- KA-BAR knives
- Sword Canes
- Throwing knives
- Belt knives and other disguised knives
- Hunting knives
- Utility blades
But there is a restriction on Concealed to Carry weapons:
A person is not allowed to carry certain concealed weapons which include
- Bowie knives
- Stilettos, and other dangerous or deadly weapons.
- Except for knives used to hunt, fish or trap
A person may not “display in a threatening manner a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person
Or wear under the person’s clothes or conceal about the person’s person a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person.”[i]
In the interpretation of this law in the simplest manner, we should consider the two important elements of this law. First, the law clearly states that a person cannot “display in a threatening manner” which is not clearly defined. Of course, holding a knife to someone’s throat would be a display in a threatening manner.
However, given that the law is not clear what constitutes such a display it is easy for one to conclude that a determination if one has broken the law will come down to a fact-based scenario. Second, the law does not define the type of weapon that would be usually employed in the offense or defense of another person.
But, it seems that the intended use of the knife, rather than simply the classification of the knife itself, is paramount in determining if it is a dangerous or deadly weapon. As an example, if one can simply say that if a knife was not designed for use against humans it can be carried concealed.[ii] Put another way, if a knife was designed solely to harm other humans then it cannot be carried concealed.
Firearms and Guns are Legal in Maine
Maine is a shall-issue, constitutional carry state with concealed weapons permits issued at the state level by the Department of Public Safety through the Maine State Police.
- No Permit
- No background check or firearms registration required to buy a handgun from a private individual.
Both Open and concealed carry are legal in Maine without a permit.
· Any person 21 or older who can legally possess a firearm is allowed to carry openly or concealed.
However, if you want to own a Carry Concealed Handguns (CHPs)-it is generally permitted in Maine but there are certain requirements:
- a firearms training course that has been approved by the state.
- Residents and Non-residents are at least 18 years old.
- Some areas are off-limits, including schools and courthouses. I
In terms of reciprocity, since Maine has permitless carry,
- Any person at least 21 years old who can legally possess a firearm may carry a concealed firearm on his or her person without a license or permit.
- If a person is 18 years of age or older, and is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the National Guard, and is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm, the person may carry a concealed handgun.
Can You Have a Loaded Gun in Your Car in Maine?
Maine resident is allowed to carry a loaded handgun in their vehicle. If you are 21 years of age, 18 to 20 if in the Military or Veteran and can legally possess a firearm you can carry a loaded concealed handgun on your person anywhere it is legal to carry in Maine without any type of permit or license, that includes automobiles.
Maine Ammunition Laws
Furnishing, giving or offering to sell,or give ammunition to a child under 16 years of age is prohibited in Maine. Ammunition restriction also apply during state of emergency as declared by the Governor pursuant to Title 37-B, section 742, subsection 1.
“(1) Prohibit or restrict the otherwise lawful possession, use, carrying, transfer, transportation, storage
or display of a firearm or ammunition. The provisions of this paragraph regarding the lawful transfer
of a firearm or ammunition do not apply to the commercial sale of a firearm or ammunition if an
authorized person has ordered an evacuation or general closure of businesses in the area of the
business engaged in the sale of firearms or ammunition”
Stun gun and Tasers are legal in Maine
Stun guns administer an electric shock on direct contact. When a stun gun is activated (usually by pulling a trigger), electricity passes between two metal prongs at the end of the weapon. A painful electrical shock is delivered when these come into contact with the target. The shock can stun and perhaps even incapacitate the target briefly.
Tasers are pistol-type devices that shoot a small darts or probes attached to thin, flexible wires. When the darts hit the target, electricity is delivered through the wires. Electric pulses pass between the probes, which incapacitate the target by disrupting the neuromuscular system. Once the probes are in place, the person with the Taser can deliver multiple cycles of electricity.
In Maine, it is legal to possess a stun gun and taser. It means that you can carry these without needing permits, background checks, and training.
Pepper Spray is legal in Maine
Although legal, there are still a few requirements that need to be met, the person in possession:
- Must be a minimum of 18 years old
- Cannot have any convicted felonies on record
- For self-defense purposes only
In the state of Maine, using pepper spray as a way to protect yourself is legal as long as you are not using it with the intent to harm others unnecessarily. As with other forms of non-lethal self-protection you are free to carry it and use it for self-defense.
Personal Alarms are Legal in Maine
It must be justified and must fulfill the requirements because Maine also has a law that prohibits criminal use of chemical mace or a similar substance. It is only authorized to use such substances in defending one’s person or property.
When you think of a self-defense weapon an alarm may not be the first thing that comes to mind but believe me a personal alarm is one of the best self-defense weapons that you can have! This isn’t an ordinary alarm.
A personal alarm is more produces a sound of more than 100 decibels. That’s louder than a jackhammer! Trust me when I say it’s shrill and loud. You wouldn’t want this alarm sounding in your ear. Also, causing a scene by making a lot of noise is a great tool to defend yourself against any surprise attack whether it be a mugger or purse snatcher. Read about an old woman whose life was saved by a personal alarm.
Tactical Pens are Legal in Maine
A tactical pen is essentially a hidden self-defense tool. What better way to hide a defense weapon other than in plain sight. It can be used for writing, stopping someone by causing a minor wound, breaking things and even breaking glass if you use it well. The tactical pens were created for people who don’t want to use a gun for self-defense and wish to have some useful things that can potentially become a weapon.
There is no specific law or prohibition on possessing or buying a tactical pen in Maine. And the laws regarding the use of weapons are not strict and has emphasized that as long as the intention is not to harm others and is solely for self-defense then the possession is legal and authorized. 17-A M.R.S.A. Sections 101 & 108. You can get a free tactical pen here.