Maine already allows people 21 and older to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, and now lawmakers are considering a measure that would lower that age to 18.
Supporters, like Rep. Rich Cebra, a Republican from Naples, say 18-year-old Maine citizens should have the same rights as those over 21.
“Law-abiding, responsible young people who fit in that category should be allowed to exercise their rights as any other adult in Maine,” he says.
Opponents argue the state already treats 18-year-olds differently in its drinking laws, for example, and they say studies show 18-year-olds are not yet as emotionally developed as adults.
“Allowing 18- to 20-year-olds to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public, not even having to have a background check, is irresponsible. Without a permit is irresponsible,” says Paula Reed of North Yarmouth.
The proposal is under consideration by the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee.