Most state constitutions contain a clause guaranteeing a right to keep and bear arms. With gun control legislation on the rise, these state constitutional guarantees have come under increasing scrutiny. In State v. Brown defendant Edward Brown, a convicted felon, challenged the Maine statute that forbade him to possess firearms on the ground that it violated his state constitutional right to bear arms. Similar statutes around the country limit the right to bear arms in various ways. Case law has tended to uphold these limitations and to establish that the right to bear arms is a limited right at best. The question is, how limited? This Note will examine State v. Brown and its effect on the right to bear arms in Maine. This Note will discuss how other states have treated this issue and will show that the right to bear arms may be limited by the police powers of the state and federal government, as may other constitutional rights. It will conclude that the outer edge of permissible limitation has not yet been reached.

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