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).

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Ach5sec0.html

 

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:

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec16.html

 

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:

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec2.html

 

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

 

Arson:  http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec802.html

 

Kidnapping:  http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec301.html

 

Robbery:  http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec651.html

 

Forcible rape (we call it gross sexual assault): http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec253.html

 

And:  http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec251.html

 

"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:

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/15/title15sec393.html

 

The law regarding concealed firearms permits is located here:

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/25/title25ch252sec0.html

 

The statute regarding defense against dog attacks is located here:

 

 http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/7/title7sec3951.html

 

The fish and game laws are located here:

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/12/title12ch0sec0.html

 

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:

 

http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/09/chaps09.htm

 

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

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec1002.html

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec1004.html

 

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:

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec554.html

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec554-A.html

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec554-B.html

 

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

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-A/title17-Asec756.html

(defines “contraband” in prisons

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/20-a/title20-asec6552.html (discharge also)

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-a/title17-asec1057.html (bars, etc.)

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/17-a/title17-asec1058.html (courthouse)

 

State preemption of local firearm laws is here:

 

http://janus.state.me.us/legis/statutes/25/title25ch252-Asec0.html

 

  

 

 

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:

 

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sup_01_18.html

 

and here:

 

http://www.access.gpo.gov/uscode/title18/title18.html

 

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:

 

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+18USC926A

 

With excellent discussion here

 

And the regulations are well compiled here:

 

http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/index.htm

 

with the most useful index here:

 

http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/2005/p53004/27cfr_part478.pdf

 

The postal regulations specific to postal property are here:

 

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/39cfr232_03.html

 

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