Acadia exempt from concealed carry law

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The new Maine law allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit goes into effect Oct. 14, but it will not apply to Acadia National Park.

The law that was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor in June directed the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop a list of locations in Maine where a concealed carry permit will continue to be required. That list includes Acadia, as well as state parks, schools, courthouses, federal buildings and the state capitol area.

Under a federal law that went into effect in 2010, National Park Service units are subject to the gun laws of the states in which they are located. A Maine law enacted in 2009 includes a specific provision for Acadia. It prohibits the open carry of weapons, which is allowed nearly everywhere else in Maine, but it does allow people to carry concealed loaded handguns in the park provided they have a permit.

Although the carrying of concealed weapons with a permit will continue to be allowed in Acadia, no firearms of any kind are permitted in park buildings that are regularly occupied by government employees. Those include the park headquarters buildings and Hulls Cove Visitor Center.

Except for concealed handguns carried with a permit, firearms are allowed in Acadia only in vehicles and only “as long as the firearm is rendered temporarily inoperable or is packed, cased or stored in a manner that prevents its ready use,” according to the 2009 law that remains in effect. Hunting is illegal everywhere in the park.

Although permits will no longer be required to carry concealed handguns in most places in Maine, permits will continue to be issued by the Maine State Police and local law enforcement agencies to people who wish to have them and who meet the eligibility requirements. Out-of-state residents will still need to obtain a concealed weapons permit. Last year the state issued more than 12,000 permits to non-residents.

The permits will allow concealed carry in Acadia and other places in the state where permits are still required, as well as in other states that require concealed carry permits and recognize permits issued by Maine.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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