Maine Revised Statutes

§2011. State preemption

1. Preemption.  The State intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of firearms, components, ammunition and supplies. Except as provided in subsection 3, any existing or future order, ordinance, rule or regulation in this field of any political subdivision of the State is void.
[ 1989, c. 359, (NEW) .]
2. Regulation restricted.  Except as provided in subsection 3, no political subdivision of the State, including, but not limited to, municipalities, counties, townships and village corporations, may adopt any order, ordinance, rule or regulation concerning the sale, purchase, purchase delay, transfer, ownership, use, possession, bearing, transportation, licensing, permitting, registration, taxation or any other matter pertaining to firearms, components, ammunition or supplies.
[ 1989, c. 359, (NEW) .]
3. Exception.  This section does not prohibit an order, ordinance, rule or regulation of any political subdivision which, with the exception of appropriate civil penalty provisions, conforms exactly with any applicable provision of state law or which regulates the discharge of firearms within a jurisdiction.
[ 1989, c. 359, (NEW) .]
4. Law enforcement agency.  Nothing in this section limits the power of any law enforcement agency to regulate the type and use of firearms issued or authorized by that agency for use by its employees. For the purposes of this section "law enforcement agency" has the same meaning as set forth in section 3701.
[ 1989, c. 502, Pt. D, §19 (NEW) .]
5. Restrictions on firearms and ammunition prohibited during state of emergency.   The provisions of this subsection apply to restrictions on firearms and ammunition during a state of emergency, as declared by the Governor pursuant to Title 37-B, section 742, subsection 1.
A. During a state of emergency, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a person acting on behalf or under the authority of the State or a political subdivision of the State may not:
(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;
(2) Seize or confiscate, or authorize the seizure or confiscation of, an otherwise lawfully possessed firearm or ammunition unless the person acting on behalf of or under the authority of the State is:
(a) Acting in self-defense against an assault;
(b) Defending another person from an assault;
(c) Arresting a person in actual possession of a firearm or ammunition for a violation of law; or
(d) Seizing or confiscating the firearm or ammunition as evidence of a crime; or
(3) Require registration of a firearm or ammunition for which registration is not otherwise required by state law. [2011, c. 626, §1 (NEW).]
B. An individual aggrieved by a violation of this subsection may seek relief in an action at law or in equity for redress against any person who subjects that individual, or causes that individual to be subjected, to an action prohibited by this subsection. [2011, c. 626, §1 (NEW).]
C. In addition to any other remedy at law or in equity, an individual aggrieved by the seizure or confiscation of a firearm or ammunition in violation of this subsection may bring an action for the return of the firearm or ammunition in the Superior Court of the county in which that individual resides or in which the firearm or ammunition is located. [2011, c. 626, §1 (NEW).]
D. In an action or proceeding to enforce this subsection, the court shall award a prevailing plaintiff costs and reasonable attorney's fees. [2011, c. 626, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 626, §1 (NEW) .]
1989, c. 359, (NEW). 1989, c. 502, §D19 (AMD). 2011, c. 626, §1 (AMD).