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Thread: Question about varying laws between states

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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Question about varying laws between states

    Hi all

    I recently applied for a Maine CCW and, after waiting 8 months, followed up on the matter to be told that I will probably face a rejection for failing their good moral character clause. I have a deferred sentence for harassment in my home state. It was an incident between myself and my mother who I was living with at the time and is the only thing on my record, and my home state of Colorado does not classify it as domestic violence. However, had it occurred in Maine it would have been classified as domestic violence. My boyfriend lives in the Portland area which I intend to move to as soon as I finish school, and I would prefer not to go unarmed, so I am giving serious consideration to open carrying. Since people who "have committed a crime of domestic violence" are ineligible to own, let alone carry firearms, and since Maine would have defined my actions as domestic violence, I am wondering whether I run the risk of being charged with a serious crime if I elect to carry and have an inevitable encounter with police that turns up these prior issues. For purposes of owning and carrying, do the definitions of the home state matter, or do the definitions of the state in which carrying occurs matter?

    Thanks in advance.

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    The carry-state will prosecute but the home-state will not defend the out-of-state.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Moved the thread to the Maine sub-forum where you can look for state specific responses to your question.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Moved the thread to the Maine sub-forum where you can look for state specific responses to your question.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    The carry-state will prosecute but the home-state will not defend the out-of-state.
    I'm not sure what you mean. Could you clarify and give some support for this?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nightmare

    The carry-state will prosecute but the home-state will not defend the out-of-state.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    --snip--
    I'm not sure what you mean. Could you clarify and give some support for this?
    It means the only applicable laws are the laws/statutes of the state in which you are currently standing = Maine.

    The laws of your home state (Colorado) have no direct bearing.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    It means the only applicable laws are the laws/statutes of the state in which you are currently standing = Maine.

    The laws of your home state (Colorado) have no direct bearing.
    Ok, that makes sense. But I'm still not sure where the problem comes up, if it does, since it was a separate offense in a separate state.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    Ok, that makes sense. But I'm still not sure where the problem comes up, if it does, since it was a separate offense in a separate state.
    Apparently something showed up as a red flag on the NCI background check.

    While clearing that is beyond my expertise, you may have to get records from Colorado to appeal any possible denial in Maine.

    Most attorneys will give you an initial consultation w/o charge.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Apparently something showed up as a red flag on the NCI background check.

    While clearing that is beyond my expertise, you may have to get records from Colorado to appeal any possible denial in Maine.

    Most attorneys will give you an initial consultation w/o charge.
    Oh. Well, that's not the issue. The thing that flagged was just a "good moral character" clause violation, based on evidence provided by my Colorado record. So my thought is that in principle I should still be able to buy long guns in Maine (since it just requires passing the 4473 which I can do with no issue), and so I should still be able to carry also, but I wanted to absolutely confirm this so that extremely bad things don't happen. Open carry doesn't require a permit, so the denial of a CCW shouldn't effect it.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    Oh. Well, that's not the issue. The thing that flagged was just a "good moral character" clause violation, based on evidence provided by my Colorado record. So my thought is that in principle I should still be able to buy long guns in Maine (since it just requires passing the 4473 which I can do with no issue), and so I should still be able to carry also, but I wanted to absolutely confirm this so that extremely bad things don't happen. Open carry doesn't require a permit, so the denial of a CCW shouldn't effect it.
    I would consider being denied a permit a very big deal - that becomes a part of your record.

    Plus you cannot carry in any fashion in a vehicle in Maine w/o a permit.
    http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=238
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-01-2013 at 08:18 PM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    I appreciate that, and I'm sure it makes life harder in some respect. However, a previous refusal isn't grounds for refusal. 2003 Section D subsection 4 states: "A record of previous issuances of, refusals to issue and revocations of a permit to carry concealed firearms, handguns or other concealed weapons by any issuing authority in the State or any other jurisdiction. The record of previous refusals alone does not constitute cause for refusal and the record of previous revocations alone constitutes cause for refusal only as provided in section 2005"

    The CCW thing will resolve itself in time. The car thing is also not currently relevant as downtown Portland is very pedestrian friendly, and neither myself or my boyfriend own a car, and if it's necessary to travel by taxi there are provisions for that in a locked case. I definitely appreciate your interest in the broader aspects of my situation, but my concern at present is just open carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    I would consider being denied a permit a very big deal - that becomes a part of your record.

    Plus you cannot carry in any fashion in a vehicle in Maine w/o a permit.
    http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=238
    I was under the impression you can openly carry unloaded in a vehicle providing there is no ammunition within reach of the gun. I keep my gun on my hip while in the car and just toss the mags in the trunk... Such a pain in the ass since I have to get out my car pop the trunk and draw my gun to slap a loaded magazine in. This is the only time I get weird concerned looks from people.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    You are correct

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    I would consider being denied a permit a very big deal - that becomes a part of your record.

    Plus you cannot carry in any fashion in a vehicle in Maine w/o a permit.
    http://www.opencarry.org/?page_id=238
    Quote Originally Posted by tazxrulz View Post
    I was under the impression you can openly carry unloaded in a vehicle providing there is no ammunition within reach of the gun. I keep my gun on my hip while in the car and just toss the mags in the trunk... Such a pain in the ass since I have to get out my car pop the trunk and draw my gun to slap a loaded magazine in. This is the only time I get weird concerned looks from people.
    You are correct tazxrulz - I misspoke, my bad

    I should have said, "you cannot carry loaded in any fashion (OC or CC) in a vehicle in Maine w/o a permit".......and if I am not mistaken, that must be a Maine permit.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Re: Question about varying laws between states

    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    I appreciate that, and I'm sure it makes life harder in some respect. However, a previous refusal isn't grounds for refusal. 2003 Section D subsection 4 states: "A record of previous issuances of, refusals to issue and revocations of a permit to carry concealed firearms, handguns or other concealed weapons by any issuing authority in the State or any other jurisdiction. The record of previous refusals alone does not constitute cause for refusal and the record of previous revocations alone constitutes cause for refusal only as provided in section 2005"

    The CCW thing will resolve itself in time. The car thing is also not currently relevant as downtown Portland is very pedestrian friendly, and neither myself or my boyfriend own a car, and if it's necessary to travel by taxi there are provisions for that in a locked case. I definitely appreciate your interest in the broader aspects of my situation, but my concern at present is just open carry.
    In a case is concealed. It must be in the open

    Quote Originally Posted by tazxrulz View Post
    I was under the impression you can openly carry unloaded in a vehicle providing there is no ammunition within reach of the gun. I keep my gun on my hip while in the car and just toss the mags in the trunk... Such a pain in the ass since I have to get out my car pop the trunk and draw my gun to slap a loaded magazine in. This is the only time I get weird concerned looks from people.
    Mags don't need to be in the trunk. Gun and mags can be in your lap just separated. I wouldn't keep it on your hip too much room for LEO interpretation of your seat belt covers it.

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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Well, I called Portland PD's information line. The conversation went something like this (summarizing):

    "Hi, I'd just like to get some information on the legality of Open Carry. If you're not federally prohibited from owning a firearm then you're legally allowed to carry it, correct?"
    "That's right, but with that sort of thing it's also a matter of how you do it. If you're just carrying and wandering around, y'know... like if a woman is at a park with her kids and sees someone wandering around with a gun on their hip, they're going to feel intimidated. If you put your hand on your gun in a way that makes someone think you're going to draw on them that's harassing or intimidating and against the law."
    "Right."
    "And people can feel intimidated by anything, and it's really just a matter of whether they feel intimidated or not, so you can't just wander around..."
    "Well there are specific laws regarding brandishing so that's not exactly accurate. Whether someone feels uncomfortable isn't really the same thing..."
    "It is the same thing. If you're wandering around with a gun then people are going to be uncomfortable and that's harassment."
    "There are specific laws about harassment and that's not really true"
    "Well if you already knew then why are you calling me?"
    "That's not what I called to ask you"
    "Alright, you've got another question then bro?"
    "...yeah. I'm just wondering, if you have a record but it doesn't prohibit you from being able to own a firearm, then you're still legally allowed to carry, yes?"
    "Well it depends entirely on the record. Not all records are going to allow you to be able to own a firearm. If you have a restraining order or a felony..."
    "Right, I know that, that's why I qualified my question."
    "You know what dude, if you're going to be a smart ass then this conversation is done. [Some sort of moral grandstanding that I didn't hear because I hung up at this point]"

    So I'm kind of unsure of the situation at present. The only straight answer I've gotten to my question here or anywhere was Nightmare's which was vague, unsupported with any evidence, and grammatically awkward. So really I have no answer to this at all, and now it's clear that Portland PD are unprofessional and biased about this subject.

    I guess it's worth noting even if it subjects me to some harassment on these forums that I'm MtF transsexual as well and not exactly very good looking, so the whole "getting harassed by cops" thing is liable to be compounded by that, let alone the "making random soccer moms upset so that they call the cops" thing. What I would really like is a cite to precedent or statute or some other professional opinion, addressing the exact question I laid out in the OP. At the very least, an entire paragraph worth of answer on Nightmare's assertion (that if a record doesn't prohibit you from owning a firearm, but the actions that lead to that record would have prohibited you from owning a firearm had they occurred in the state of carry, you're not allowed to carry). I feel like all I'm getting right now is jerked around.
    Last edited by Brace; 10-11-2013 at 05:11 PM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    --snipped
    Don't call a LEO/LEA if you want a legal opinion. Those replying on OCDO are giving/sharing there personal thoughts - not jerking anyone around.

    Again, for a legal opinion contact a competant attorney.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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    I've emailed two attorney's that seemed like they might know but haven't gotten a response. I'm not sure how to find an appropriate candidate for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You are correct tazxrulz - I misspoke, my bad

    I should have said, "you cannot carry loaded in any fashion (OC or CC) in a vehicle in Maine w/o a permit".......and if I am not mistaken, that must be a Maine permit.
    Are you saying that my Michigan CPL, which is listed as having reciprocity with Maine, would NOT allow me to carry a loaded pistol in a vehicle?
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTodd View Post
    Are you saying that my Michigan CPL, which is listed as having reciprocity with Maine, would NOT allow me to carry a loaded pistol in a vehicle?
    That is my understanding.

    It is unlawful for a person, while in or on a motor vehicle or in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, to have a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except for a law enforcement official in the line of duty. A person who has a valid Maine permit to carry a concealed weapon may have in or on a motor vehicle or trailer a loaded pistol or revolver covered by that permit.

    http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/maine.aspx
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Re: Question about varying laws between states

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    That is my understanding.

    It is unlawful for a person, while in or on a motor vehicle or in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, to have a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except for a law enforcement official in the line of duty. A person who has a valid Maine permit to carry a concealed weapon may have in or on a motor vehicle or trailer a loaded pistol or revolver covered by that permit.

    http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/maine.aspx
    This is misleading as it pertains to hunting. The full text is at MRSA Title 12 Sec 11212. "General Unlawful Acts Pertaining To Hunting"

    11212. Motor vehicles and motorboats

    1. Prohibition. The following provisions apply to shooting from a motor vehicle or motorboat or possessing a loaded firearm or a crossbow in a motor vehicle. A. A person may not shoot while in or on a motor vehicle or motorboat or while in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle except: (1) A person may hunt migratory waterfowl from a motorboat in accordance with federal regulations; (2) Paraplegics and single or double amputees of the legs may shoot from motor vehicles that are not in motion; and (3) A person may shoot from a motorboat if that boat is not being propelled by its motor.

    B. A person may not, while in or on a motor vehicle or in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, have a cocked and armed crossbow or a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except that a person who has a valid Maine permit to carry a concealed weapon may have in or on a motor vehicle or trailer a loaded pistol or revolver covered by that permit.

    C. A person may not possess a wild animal or wild bird taken in violation of paragraph A or B, except as otherwise provided in this Part.

    2. Penalty. A person who violates subsection 1 commits a Class E crime.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Well color me embarrassed for applying the wrong law in the wrong situation.

    Is there a statute cite that would cover Ocing in a vehicle in Maine or is it legal by default (no law against it) as it is in Virginia?
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Re: Question about varying laws between states

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Well color me embarrassed for applying the wrong law in the wrong situation.

    Is there a statute cite that would cover Ocing in a vehicle in Maine or is it legal by default (no law against it) as it is in Virginia?
    No worries GS! With all the info you hold, getting something wrong is bound to happen.

    Legal by default. CC in a vehicle is illegal without a recognized CC permit. Without a permit pistols must be unloaded.

    Even with a permit long guns must be unloaded as they are not exempted by the CC exemption of carrying loaded in a vehicle.

    Eta: Further thought process brings me to say that the hunting law IS what prohibits loaded OC in a vehicle. The CC statute is MRSA Title 25 Sec 2001-A

    2001-A. Threatening display of or carrying concealed weapon

    1. Display or carrying prohibited. A person may not, unless excepted by a provision of law:

    A. Display in a threatening manner a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person; or [2003, c. 452, Pt. N, 2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, 2 (AFF).]

    B. Wear under the person's clothes or conceal about the person's person a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person. [2003, c. 452, Pt. N, 2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, 2 (AFF).] [ 2003, c. 452, Pt. N, 2 (NEW); 2003, c. 452, Pt. X, 2 (AFF) .]

    2. Exceptions. The provisions of this section concerning the carrying of concealed weapons do not apply to:

    A. A handgun carried by a person to whom a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun has been issued as provided in this chapter; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    B. Disabling chemicals as described in Title 17-A, section 1002; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    C. Knives used to hunt, fish or trap as defined in Title 12, section 10001; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    D. A handgun carried by a law enforcement officer, a corrections officer or a corrections supervisor as permitted in writing by the officer's or supervisor's employer; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    E. A firearm carried by a person engaged in conduct for which a state-issued hunting or trapping license is required and possessing the required license, or a firearm carried by a resident person engaged in conduct expressly authorized by Title 12, section 11108 and section 12202, subsection 1. This paragraph does not authorize or permit the carrying of a concealed or loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    F. A handgun carried by a person to whom a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun has been issued by another state if a permit to carry a concealed handgun issued from that state has been granted reciprocity. The Chief of the State Police may enter into reciprocity agreements with any other states that meet the requirements of this paragraph. Reciprocity may be granted to a permit to carry a concealed handgun issued from another state if:

    (1) The other state that issued the permit to carry a concealed handgun has substantially equivalent or stricter requirements for the issuance of a permit to carry a concealed handgun; and

    (2) The other state that issued the permit to carry a concealed handgun observes the same rules of reciprocity regarding a person issued a permit to carry a concealed handgun under this chapter; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    G. A handgun carried by an authorized federal, state or local law enforcement officer in the performance of the officer's official duties; [2011, c. 691, Pt. A, 24 (RPR).]

    H. A handgun carried by a qualified law enforcement officer pursuant to 18 United States Code, Section 926B. The qualified law enforcement officer must have in the law enforcement officer's possession photographic identification issued by the law enforcement agency by which the person is employed as a law enforcement officer; and

    I. A handgun carried by a qualified retired law enforcement officer pursuant to 18 United States Code, Section 926C. The qualified retired law enforcement officer must have in the retired law enforcement officer's possession:
    (1) Photographic identification issued by the law enforcement agency from which the person retired from service as a law enforcement officer that indicates that the person has, not less recently than one year before the date the person carries the concealed handgun, been tested or otherwise found by that agency to meet the standards established by that agency for training and qualification for an active law enforcement officer to carry a handgun of the same type as the concealed handgun; or
    (2) Photographic identification issued by the law enforcement agency from which the person retired from service as a law enforcement officer and a certification issued by the state in which the person resides that indicates that the person has, not less recently than one year before the date the person carries the concealed handgun, been tested or otherwise found by that state to meet the standards established by that state for training and qualification for an active law enforcement officer to carry a handgun of the same type as the concealed handgun.
    Eta2: On my phone so it's difficult to cite and explain

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    Last edited by SPOProds; 10-12-2013 at 10:14 AM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPOProds View Post
    No worries GS! With all the info you hold, getting something wrong is bound to happen.

    Legal by default. CC in a vehicle is illegal without a recognized CC permit. Without a permit pistols must be unloaded.

    --snipped--
    Bottom line then is that with my VA CHP (not recognized) I cannot CC. OC is OK, but must unload in vehicle - makes no sense with all of the extra handling, but must abide.

    Even the Utah permit doesn't help
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    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Ok, I'd just like to clarify something given that I will be OC'ing in Portland:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maine Statutes 17-A 108 1A
    A person is not justified in using nondeadly force against another person who that person knows or
    reasonably should know is a law enforcement officer attempting to effect an arrest or detention, regardless of
    whether the arrest or detention is legal. A person is justified in using the degree of nondeadly force the person
    reasonably believes is necessary to defend the person or a 3rd person against a law enforcement officer who,
    in effecting an arrest or detention, uses nondeadly force not justified under section 107, subsection 1
    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Maine Statutes 17-A 107 1
    1. A law enforcement officer is justified in using a reasonable degree of nondeadly force upon another person:
    A. When and to the extent that the officer reasonably believes it necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of an arrested person, unless the officer knows that the arrest or detention is illegal; or
    B. In self-defense or to defend a 3rd person from what the officer reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful nondeadly force encountered while attempting to effect such an arrest or while seeking to prevent such an escape.
    So in conjunction, this means I'm allowed to use deadly force against a police officer if they attempt to illegally arrest me using deadly force; IE, if I ask them what law I'm breaking, and they can't answer, but then draw a firearm on me or make a motion to draw a firearm on me? But if it were a taser or mace that would be non-deadly force and I would have to comply even in spite of the illegality? Or if they have some suspicion of wrongdoing no matter how stupid then I have to comply? I just want to be clear on this one point, I am extremely uncomfortable with Portland PD at the moment. It actually makes it more urgent that I carry though because it implies I can't count on them to protect me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brace View Post
    Ok, I'd just like to clarify something given that I will be OC'ing in Portland:





    So in conjunction, this means I'm allowed to use deadly force against a police officer if they attempt to illegally arrest me using deadly force; IE, if I ask them what law I'm breaking, and they can't answer, but then draw a firearm on me or make a motion to draw a firearm on me? But if it were a taser or mace that would be non-deadly force and I would have to comply even in spite of the illegality? Or if they have some suspicion of wrongdoing no matter how stupid then I have to comply? I just want to be clear on this one point, I am extremely uncomfortable with Portland PD at the moment. It actually makes it more urgent that I carry though because it implies I can't count on them to protect me.

    NOOOOO!!! Re-read that. You can use NON-deadly force if the officer is using non-deadly force knowingly in violation of that section. You cannot use deadly force.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Brace's Avatar
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    Ok, that's an important distinction. But if they escalate to the use of deadly force from illegitimate non-deadly force, what then?

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