- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A bill that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit is nearing final approval in the Maine Legislature.

The Democratic-controlled House gave final approval to the bill on Thursday. The Republican-led Senate sent to the bill to the Appropriations Committee, which has to examine all measures with a fiscal impact. Analysts have estimated the bill will reduce general fund revenues by nearly $160,000 annually.

Lawmakers added an amendment supported by Republican Gov. Paul LePage this week that would free military members and veterans who are 18, 19 and 20 years old from the permit requirement. Otherwise, only those who are 21 years of age and older can carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

The National Rifle Association says that five states currently have such laws.

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