Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a Montana Concealed Weapons Permit (MCWP) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

Montana is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Shall-issue means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. Concealed weapons permits are processed on a local level by the county sheriff’s office.

Open carry is legal in Montana without a permit for anyone at least 18 years old that can legally possess a firearm. The federal minimum age is 18 years old, although state law allows 14-year-olds to carry or use a firearm in public under direct supervision of a parent, guardian, qualified firearms safety instructor or an adult who has been authorized by the parent or guardian.

Concealed carry is legal without a permit for anyone at least 18 years old that can legally own a firearm in most locations. A permit is required to carry concealed in portions of a building used for state or local government offices and related areas in the building that have been restricted.

Montana does not issue permits to non-residents. Local municipalities can prohibit unpermitted concealed carry in publicly owned and occupied buildings. In terms of reciprocity, Montana recognizes permits from states that require criminal records background checks.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in Montana?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have been a Montana resident for 6 months
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a firearm
  • Have a valid form of photo ID issued by the state, such as a driver’s license
  • Must meet federal law requirements

 Do I Need Firearms Training in Montana?

 Montana doesn’t require firearms safety training; however, an applicant for a Montana Concealed Weapons Permit (MCWP) must demonstrate “familiarity with a firearm.”

One of the following is required in order to demonstrate “familiarity with a firearm:”

  • Completion of a hunter education or safety course approved or conducted by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) or a similar agency of another state.
  • Completion of a firearms safety or training course approved or conducted by the FWP, 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 firearm association.
  • Completion of a law enforcement firearms safety or training course offered to or required of public or private law enforcement personnel and conducted or approved by a law enforcement agency.
  • Possession of a license from another state to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise, that is granted by that state upon completion of a course that is the same as one of the above.
  • Evidence that the applicant, during military service, was found to be qualified to operate firearms, including handguns.
  • Passage of a physical test in which the applicant demonstrates his or her familiarity with a firearm.

A Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class from the USCCA meets permitting requirements in Montana. Find a class near you!

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in Montana?

Step 1: Complete a firearms training course, if required.

Step 2: Download the online application from your home county or pick up from your local sheriff’s office.

Step 3: Take your application to your local sheriff’s office. You will need the following:

    • Three completed and signed reference forms
    • Photo ID
    • Certificate from firearms course

You will be fingerprinted.

You will be notified if your application has been approved.


For more information, visit the USCCA Montana gun laws page now…