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LD 222 Concealed Carry Legislation coming to final vote

30 Mar 2014 11:00 PM | Todd
LD 222, now entitled "An Act Regarding the Issuance of a Permit To Carry a Concealed Handgun", will be coming to final enactment votes in the House and the Senate soon.  A summary of the current form of the bill is below.

The links to the adopted amendments are:

1. It amends the definition of "issuing authority" to remove the authority of municipal officers and councilors and assessors of plantations to issue concealed handgun permits and makes the municipality's full-time chief of police the sole issuing authority for that municipality. If the municipality does not have a full-time chief of police, the Chief of the State Police is the issuing authority unless the municipality has an agreement with the county sheriff in the county in which the municipality is located to serve as that municipality's issuing authority;

2. It provides that a nonresident must have a valid concealed handgun permit in that person's state of residence before that person is eligible for a Maine concealed handgun permit unless that person's state of residence does not require a permit to carry a concealed handgun;

3. It provides that the State Police must conduct record checks on an applicant for a concealed handgun permit and provide that information to the issuing authority for consideration when processing the application. It expressly provides that unless the State Police is the issuing authority, the State Police does not have the power to issue or prevent the issuance of a concealed handgun permit. Only the issuing authority can make that determination;

4. It requires the State Police to establish a confidential database containing information about concealed handgun permit holders and applicants for concealed handgun permits. It provides that the database must be accessible by law enforcement agencies or law enforcement officers at any time and that information about a permit holder or an applicant must be purged from the database within 5 years after the permit expires or after the period for an appeal on a denial or a revocation of a permit has run;

5. It authorizes the Attorney General to modify or reword the statutory application questions for a concealed handgun permit to improve readability and clarity as long as the subject matter of those questions is retained. It also requires the Attorney General to provide the proposed changes to the wording of the questions to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over criminal justice and public safety matters for review;

6. It increases the application fee for a concealed handgun permit for a resident from $35 to $52.50 and for a renewal from $20 to $52.50 and for a nonresident from $60 to $120. It also extends the period a permit is valid from 4 years to 6 years;

7. It allows applicants to provide signatures on concealed handgun permit applications by an electronic means approved by the State Police;

8. It allows the holder of a valid resident concealed handgun permit issued before January 1, 2016 to replace that permit with the new standard concealed handgun permit developed by the State Police on or before January 1, 2016 for a fee of $15;

9. It provides that, by January 1, 2016, the State Police must develop and make available a uniform concealed handgun permit form, which must be used by all issuing authorities;

10. It provides that concealed handgun permit fees paid over to the Treasurer of State must be deposited in a special revenue account for the sole purpose of reimbursing the issuing authority for expenditures related to the development and the issuance of concealed handgun permits;

11. It provides that the legislation does not apply to a valid concealed handgun permit issued before the effective date of the legislation. An application for a concealed handgun permit or for renewal of a valid existing concealed handgun permit submitted on or after the effective date of the legislation is subject to the provisions of the legislation;

12. It makes the changes to the current types of concealed handgun model forms the Attorney General must develop effective January 1, 2016 to coincide with the date the State Police must produce a uniform concealed handgun permit;

13. It expands the issuing authority's access to records pertaining to patient committals to include all state mental health institutes and nonstate mental health institutions; and

14. It adds an appropriations and allocations section.

15. It removes the requirement that a course that includes handgun safety taken by an applicant for a permit to carry a concealed handgun must have been taken by the applicant within 5 years prior to the date of application.
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