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Bill Would Allow 18-Year-Olds to Carry Concealed Weapons

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.