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Montana Gun Laws

Montana has some of the most permissive gun laws in the nation, due in part to the state constitution guaranteeing a person’s right to bear arms. Permitless carry is legal in Montana. There are strict regulations designed to prohibit lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, and Montana continues to enact legislation that will further protect firearms enthusiasts.

Montana Gun Laws at a Glance

Concealed Carry Premit Required No
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check Yes
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements

No license is required to obtain a firearm in Montana.

Background Checks

Private firearms transfers are not subject to background checks in Montana. In accordance with federal law, licensed dealers must initiate background checks on buyers before the sale of a firearm.

Gun Shows

Montana law specifically denies local governments the right to prohibit the display of guns at shows and public occasions.

There are no other laws regulating gun shows.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons Not restricted
50 Caliber Rifles Not restricted
Machine Guns Permitted for lawful purposes.
Large Capacity Magazines Not restricted
Ammunition Not restricted

Prohibited Persons

Under Montana law, no person shall possess a firearm who:

  • Has committed a felony with a dangerous weapon
  • Has committed an offense in another state equivalent to a Montana offense which would prohibit the person from possessing a firearm

  • However, prohibited felons may be entitled to purchase and possess a firearm by applying for and being granted a permit. This permit will be granted if the person can show good cause for the possession of a firearm.

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools Montana prohibits any person from knowingly carrying a firearm into a K-12 school Trustees of the school may grant permission to carry firearms.
Vehicles Montana allows the carrying of firearms in a vehicle with no required permit. None.

Concealed Carry Laws

Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs Not enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Permitted
Restaurant Carry Permitted
State Park Carry Permitted
While Hunting Permitted

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

Individuals may carry loaded firearms on their person without any kind of permit. Despite this, the state still issues concealed carry permits.

Montana is a ‘shall issue’ state, meaning that any person will be granted a concealed carry license if they satisfy certain requirements.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
A concealed carry permit must be issued if the applicant:
  • Be a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Hold a valid Montana driver’s license or another form of state-issued photo ID
  • Have been a Montana resident for six months
Further, a license may be denied to anyone:
  • Is ineligible under Montana or federal law to possess a firearm
  • Has been convicted of (or charged with and is awaiting judgment in any court for) a crime punishable by one year of incarceration or more
  • Has been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of any intoxicating substance within the last five years
  • Has been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in any prohibited place within the last five years
  • Is the subject of any arrest warrant
  • Has been adjudicated in any court to be an unlawful user of any intoxicating substance and is under any conditional release
  • Has been adjudicated to be mentally ill, defective, or disabled and remains subject to a current deposition order
  • Has been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces
  • Has been convicted of any crime pertaining to:
    • Intentional homicide
    • Serious bodily injury
    • Unlawful restraint
    • Sexual abuse
    • Non-consensual sexual intercourse

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

Montana does not explicitly require formal training with a firearm as a prerequisite to obtaining a concealed carry permit. However, applicants must display “familiarity” with a firearm through one of the following:

  • Completion of a hunter education course approved by any state’s department of fish, wildlife, and parks
  • Completion of any hunter education course approved by any state’s department of fish, wildlife, and parks, a similar agency of another state, a national firearms association, a law enforcement agency, an institution of higher education, or an organization that uses instructors certified by a national firearms association;
  • Completion of a law enforcement firearms safety training course approved by a law enforcement agency
  • Possession of a license from another state to carry a concealed firearm that required the completion of a firearms training course
  • Evidence that the applicant was qualified to operate firearms during military service
  • Passage of a physical test in which the applicant demonstrates familiarity with a firearm

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a valid concealed carry license, you may not carry concealed firearms at the following locations:

  • Areas or buildings used for state or local government offices and related restricted areas
  • Inside any bank or similar institution
  • Any room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed
  • School buildings
  • Anywhere while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • State game preserves
  • Trains
  • Public assemblies, city parks, and publicly owned buildings in Helena
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.