Sources of Law – Use of Force and Firearms

Compiled By JOHN CHAPMAN, Attorney

of Portland, Maine

© 2007-2008 Media Guys Inc <> All Rights Reserved <> This Page May Not Be Reproduced Without Written Permission

Maine Law


The Maine Law on justification can be found here, in title 17-A of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (MRSA).


In particular, sections 104, 105, 107 and 108 are particularly relevant to civilians.


The basics of the laws of arrest (which must be mastered for a citizen’s arrest) are located here:


As you can see, you need to know the elements of any crime for which you might be inclined to arrest.  That’s what makes this so difficult.


The definitions within the criminal code are contained here:


Finally, to master issues relating to use of force, you will need to learn the elements of Arson, kidnapping, robbery and forcible rape, located:








Forcible rape (we call it gross sexual assault):




"Compulsion" means the use of physical force, a threat to use physical force or a combination thereof that makes a person unable to physically repel the actor or produces in that person a reasonable fear that death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping might be imminently inflicted upon that person or another human being. 


            Maine refers to persons who cannot possess firearms (and even crossbows) as “prohibited persons”.  The statute on that issue is here, in title 15:


The law regarding concealed firearms permits is located here:


The statute regarding defense against dog attacks is located here:


The fish and game laws are located here:


There are some 33 statutes within title 12 that regulate the possession, use and transport of firearms, including discharge near structures, possession on certain game preserves and parks, transportation on Sunday, transportation in motor vehicles and possession of a firearm on a paved way.


Moreover, there are regulations issued under the authority of the laws.  The regulations must also be obeyed.  The Title 12 regulations are contained here:


In addition to the laws regarding assault, Pepper Spray and “electronic weapons” are regulated here:


Generally, “electronic weapons” in the hands of civilians are (inartfully) treated as “deadly force”.


Unlawful transfer of firearms and ammunition to minors is regulated here:


Prohibitions on possession on Public School Grounds and in Courts and Prisons, and bars are here:

(defines “contraband” in prisons (discharge also) (bars, etc.) (courthouse)


State preemption of local firearm laws is here:





Federal (United States) Law


The National Firearms Act, the 1968 Gun Control Act, as well as the laws relating to interstate transportation (Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986) and possession of weapons on federal property, are contained in title 18 of the United States Code (USC).

That may be found here:


and here:


Section 930 of title 18 governs possession of firearms and other weapons on federal property.  However, the National Parks have many regulations as well.


Look in chapter 44.  The “Firearm Owners Protection Act” can be viewed here:


With excellent discussion here


And the regulations are well compiled here:


with the most useful index here:


The postal regulations specific to postal property are here:


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