A permit for a concealed handgun is no longer required if you are not prohibited from having firearms but Maine does have a "Duty to Inform" law that requires those that carry to let the officer know. How you do that is important.

The video below, although produced for a nationwide audience, demonstrates the proper way to inform. Saying "I have a gun" can easily be misunderstood as a threat. If you do have a permit, handing it to the officer with your driver's license will inform him that you are carrying. If you don't have a permit, telling the officer you have a concealed weapon and giving its location when he approaches does the same without sounding threatening. Doing this puts everyone at ease.

Here are some other tips that are good practice for anyone pulled over, whether carrying or not.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel where they can be seen
  • Turn on your dome light so that the officer can easily see in the vehicle
  • Don't start reaching for things like your license or registration until the officer asks you to do so.
  • Keep your seat belt on until the officer asks you to unbuckle it or you need to to retrieve documents you have been asked for
  • Stay in your vehicle unless asked to exit it
  • Be prepared for the officer to approach the passenger side door. Many officers do this for their own protection from traffic.

Obviously with recent events that you undoubtedly have read about in the news, other factors were in play so it's not always this simple, but it's good to know what you should and shouldn't do when you are stopped while carrying.

More From Q97.9