April 22, 2024

UPDATE: Maine Lawmakers Pass 72-Hour Wait Period on Firearms Transfers

Article Contact: Fred Bird,

Why It Matters: Introduced on February 28, 2024, Maine Legislative Docket 2238 (LD 2238) An Act to Address Gun Violence in Maine by Requiring a Waiting Period for Certain Firearm Purchases, imposes a minimum three-day waiting period on the transferring of a firearm. On March 7, 2024, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted testimony to the Committee on Judiciary, opposing the legislation and urging lawmakers to do the same. With the statutory adjournment of the Second Regular Session of the 131st Maine State Legislature on April 17, 2024, Governor’s Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC) member, Governor Janet Mills, informed the legislature that there would be no special session called and the legislature was to complete their work within the prescribed timeframe. With that notice the legislature acted on many items to include LD 2238. Despite beating this effort back in the 2023 session, to CSF’s disappointment, LD 2238 narrowly passed out of both bodies along party lines in the final hours of the 2024 legislative session.


  • On February 28, 2024, Maine Legislative Docket 2238 (LD 2238), legislation that imposes a minimum three-day waiting period on the transferring of a firearm, was introduced in the Committee on Judiciary.
  • Despite CSF’s opposition, on April 17, 2024, Maine LD 2238 narrowly passed out of both legislative bodies along party lines.
  • The sportsmen’s community was the primary driver of critical legislation at both the state and federal levels to ensure the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) process is as effective as possible by incentivizing states to provide accurate and updated records of prohibited persons to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Introduced on February 28, 2024, and passed along party lines on April 17, 2024, Maine Legislative Docket 2238 (LD 2238) imposes a minimum three-day waiting period on the transferring of a firearm. Not only is the possession of firearms protected under the Second Amendment, but it is also engrained in our nation’s cultural fabric. Sportsmen and women in Maine have been at the forefront with offering improvements towards determining one’s eligibility in purchasing a firearm, but the three-day waiting period implemented by this bill is not a constructive route to take. Through implementing a delay in the transfer of a firearm, LD 2238 creates a uniquely biased hurdle on the hunting and sport shooting communities – a barrier levied on no other outdoor user experience if signed into law.

Maine’s sportsmen and women are the backbone of the funding structure for conservation efforts that benefit fish, wildlife, and their habitat throughout the state, as well as the citizenry at large. The proposed waiting period (now passed by both legislative bodies) will likely discourage the sale of firearms by lawful users, as sportsmen and women would be inconvenienced by having to make multiple trips to their dealer, unintentionally driving business to a neighboring state. Imposing a three-day minimum waiting period on the transferring of a firearm is a slight to the many benefits provided by the sporting industry to include recreational access to public and private lands, shooting ranges and boat access facilities, wetlands protection and its associated water filtration and flood retention functions, and improved soil and water conservation – all which benefit the public at large, not just sportsmen and women.

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