How to Sell a Gun in Maine

Nestled in the scenic Northeast, Maine is deeply rooted in a robust heritage of hunting and gun ownership. If you are looking to sell a gun in Maine, it's essential to understand the regulations and considerations involved. From state and federal laws to transportation and safety measures, navigating the process requires knowledge and diligence.

Written by:
Isaiah Miller
June 8, 2023
minutes read
Map of Maine

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Understanding State Laws for Private Sales

Picture representing Maine

It's important to note that Maine does not have specific laws detailing legal procedures for private firearm transactions between two private individuals. However, federal laws still apply. Nevertheless, there are state-level guidelines that must be adhered to, and individuals participating in firearm transactions should be fully aware of these.

Legal Awareness in Firearm Transactions

Maintaining legal awareness is essential for avoiding any potential legal ramifications during the process of selling or buying firearms in Maine. Sellers and buyers should ensure they are up-to-date on state and federal regulations and laws.

law bucket, representing firearm transaction that is legal

Age Restrictions on Buying Firearms

Here are the key age restrictions you need to know:

  • Buyers must be at least 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns, and ammunition.
  • Buyers must be at least 21 years old to purchase handguns.
  • Individuals under 16 cannot buy air rifles, gunpowder, or ammunition unless accompanied by an adult and for use of a firearm while being supervised.
  • Hunting licenses are available for anyone 10 or older, though restrictions apply based on age.

Permit and Registration Requirements

In Maine, no permits or registrations are required to own a firearm. This rule simplifies the firearm transaction process to some extent.

Purchasing a Firearm from a Licensed Dealer

When purchasing from a licensed firearms dealer, buyers must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (BATF) form 4473, which is a firearms transaction form. In addition to this, the Federal Brady Law necessitates a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check, conducted by the dealer.

Background Check and BATF form 4473

The NICS check verifies whether the purchaser is legally allowed to complete the firearm purchase. If the check unjustly disallows the sale, the purchaser can appeal to receive the necessary clearance.

Safety Acknowledgement Requirement

For those purchasing handguns, it's mandatory to sign an acknowledgment, in the presence of the dealer, indicating they have received a basic firearms safety brochure and will retain it.


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Federal Laws and Restrictions on Firearm Ownership

Federal law governing firearm sales in addition to state law. There are some federal disqualifications, prohibited persons, and age restrictions, as well as rules about transport and carry, prohibited places, etc. 

Federal Disqualification Categories for Firearm Ownership

Several conditions, under federal law, can disqualify individuals from owning firearms. These include convictions for certain crimes, existing warrants, substance abuse, mental health adjudication or commitment, dishonorable discharge from the armed forces, renounced U.S. citizenship, and illegal alien status.

Prohibitions on Buying a Handgun

Certain conditions can prohibit individuals from buying a handgun, including conviction of certain crimes, a fugitive from justice status, substance abuse, adjudication as mentally defective or incompetent, illegal residency in the U.S., renouncement of U.S. citizenship, dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces, subject to a restraining order, and conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Age Restrictions for Other Firearm-Related Items

Just as with firearms, individuals under 16 cannot buy air rifles, gunpowder, or ammunition unless accompanied by an adult.

Carrying and Transporting Firearms in Maine

Maine law allows for open carry without a permit. For those who are 21 or older, you can also carry a concealed handgun without a permit. For those under 21, concealed carry is allowed if you're at least 18 and on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard or honorably discharged.

Guy holding a reloaded revolver.

Guidelines for Transporting Firearms

While driving with a firearm in your car, it should not have a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip, or cylinder. Concealed carry laws, however, permit a loaded handgun in the car, provided you immediately inform law enforcement officers during interactions.

Prohibited Places for Firearms

There are specific places in Maine where firearms are prohibited, including law enforcement buildings, courthouses, restricted areas of airports, certain workplaces, casinos, certain areas where alcohol is sold, Acadia National Park, and school zones. Always be aware of these restrictions to avoid legal consequences.

three people with backpacks

Maine's Firearm Safety and Public Awareness

The goal of Maine's Firearm Safety and Public Awareness is to promote responsible firearm practices and cultivate a culture of awareness. It’s a good idea to stay informed about these.

  • Importance of Safety Acknowledgement for Handgun Buyers

Safety remains paramount in any firearm transaction. Handgun buyers, in particular, must sign an acknowledgment, in the presence of the dealer, that they have received a basic firearms safety brochure and will retain it.

  • Understanding the Consequences of Unlawful Sales

Selling firearms to ineligible persons, selling a defaced firearm, or selling restricted firearms can result in serious criminal charges. Be aware of these consequences to avoid inadvertent legal issues.


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Private Sales of Firearms in Maine

While there are fewer regulations for private sales, whether you are selling a handgun, rifle, or shotgun, penalties do exist for selling to ineligible persons, selling a defaced firearm, or selling restricted firearms. These actions can result in criminal charges.

Consequences of Unlawful Sales

Selling to ineligible individuals or selling a defaced or restricted firearm may lead to serious legal consequences. Always be sure of the legality of your sale to avoid such outcomes.

Consultation of BATFE Guidelines

For further guidance, you can refer to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives guidelines on transferring firearms by private sellers. These guidelines provide a clear roadmap for legal transactions.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives website

Quick Reference for Maine's Firearm Laws

Here's a summary of important points to remember when selling a gun in Maine:

  • State and federal regulations apply to all involved parties.
  • Age restrictions, permit and registration requirements, and procedures for buying from a licensed dealer are in place.
  • There are federal disqualification categories for ownership and restrictions on buying a handgun.
  • Understand open and concealed carry laws and guidelines for transporting firearms.
  • Know the locations that prohibit the possession of firearms.
  • Understand the safety acknowledgment requirement for handgun buyers and the consequences of unlawful sales.

By keeping these points in mind, you can ensure that your firearm transaction in Maine is both lawful and hassle-free. Remember, responsible gun ownership and transactions are integral to public safety and the protection of individual rights.

Tips to Sell Safely and Get the Best Price

To ensure a successful sale, make sure your firearm is in good working condition, clean, and well-maintained. Provide an accurate description of the firearm, including its make, model, caliber, and accessories. Prepare a comprehensive bill of sale and include relevant documentation, such as receipts and warranty information. Finally, complete the sale and transfer ownership in a legally compliant manner by adhering to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

It's a good idea to ensure your firearm is in good working condition and properly cleaned before selling it. This can also increase the firearm's value.

Person cleaning guns

Accurate Description:

When preparing your firearm for a private sale, you should aim to provide an accurate description of the firearm. This includes information about the make, model, caliber, and any accessories that come with the firearm. An accurate description will help ensure a smooth transaction with your ultimate buyer.


Prepare a complete bill of sale that protects both parties in case of disputes, including the following information: sale date, buyer and seller information, and firearm details (such as make, model, and serial number). Additionally, be sure to include any relevant paperwork, such as purchase receipts and warranty information.

Two people signing a document.

Completing the Sale and Transferring Firearm Ownership:

Once you've found a legal buyer, complete the sale and transfer ownership of the firearm in a legal and compliant manner. Be sure to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including background checks and any necessary permits or licenses.


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Using Cash for Arms to Sell Your Guns

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Using Cash for Arms is a safe and secure option for selling your firearm. By choosing a reputable buyer, you can ensure a smooth and legal transaction while getting the best market value for your firearm.

General Questions & Answers

Is it legal to sell guns in Maine?

Yes, it is legal to sell guns in Maine. Anyone who is permitted to own a firearm in Maine can sell a firearm in the state.

Can I buy a gun in Maine without a license?

Yes, you can buy a gun in Maine without a license. Maine does not require a state license or permit to purchase a gun. There are no purchase permits, handgun registration or waiting periods for handguns in the state.

Do I need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Maine?

No, you do not need a federally-issued ID to buy a gun in Maine. Maine does not require individuals to possess a federal identification card specifically for purchasing firearms. 

Does Maine allow private gun sales?

Yes, Maine does allow private gun sales without requiring a background check or a permit between two individuals.

Does Maine have a gun registry?

No, Maine does not have a gun registry, and there is no law in the state that mandates firearms to be registered.

What is the law for gun sales in Maine?

To acquire a firearm in a lawful manner, individuals must meet certain age requirements. For rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, the buyer must be at least 18 years old, while for handguns, the minimum age is 21. It's important to note that no permits or registrations are necessary for firearm ownership in this particular state.

Do guns need to be registered in Maine?

No, there is no requirement to register guns in the state of Maine. Firearms are not required to be registered under Maine law.

Can I give a gun as a gift in Maine?

Yes, you can give a gun as a gift in Maine. There is no legal restriction preventing the gifting of a firearm to a relative or friend residing in the same state as you.

Does Maine have strong gun laws?

No, Maine does not have strict gun laws. Maine's gun laws are generally considered to be more permissive compared to some other states.



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Cash for Arms adheres to all necessary protocols to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, preventing the sale of firearms to prohibited individuals.



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By choosing a reputable buyer like Cash for Arms, you can ensure a safe and secure sale of your firearm, protecting yourself from potential legal complications.


Given the intricate nature of firearms law and the legal consequences of non-compliance, it is advisable to inform yourself thoroughly about all pertinent state and federal laws before proceeding with any firearm transaction.


The content presented on this website is intended for informational purposes only. has made significant efforts in compiling, formulating, and ensuring high-quality information and materials. Nevertheless, we do not affirm or guarantee the complete accuracy, exhaustiveness, appropriateness, or timeliness of the information displayed on or linked to this website. Any reliance upon the information found on this website or through the associated links is done solely at the user’s discretion and risk. The information provided here does not amount to legal advice.  We are not legal professionals specialized in firearm laws, and our content should not be taken as such. Users are fully responsible for adhering to the laws and regulations applicable to their local jurisdiction concerning the buying, selling, and possession of firearms.