Montana Gun Laws: What You Need to Know

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As a responsibly armed American, you already know how challenging it may be to stay up to date on gun laws…

Montana gun owners, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked firearms questions in your state. Read on for answers to some of the top questions regarding Montana gun laws. (Not from Montana? Check the Legal & Second Amendment tab for your state.)

Is It Legal to Open Carry in Montana?

Yes. Open carry is legal in Montana without a permit for anyone at least 18 years old that can legally own a firearm with several restrictions. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and federal buildings. It should be noted that concealed is defined as a handgun that is wholly or partially covered by the clothing or apparel of the person carrying or bearing the weapon.

Do I Have to Register My Gun in Montana?

No. There is no firearms registration requirement in Montana.

Is There a Waiting Period to Buy a Gun in Montana?

No. Montana has no mandated waiting period prior to the purchase of a firearm.

Can I Carry a Loaded Gun in My Car in Montana?

Yes, you can carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle anywhere in the state with a valid concealed carry permit, but only outside of cities or towns without a permit. Open carry is legal without a permit.

Can You Carry a Gun While Hiking in Montana?

Yes. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry in Montana without a permit. Concealed carry without a permit is legal outside the official boundaries of towns or cities or the confines of logging, lumbering, mining or railroad camps and while engaged in any of the following activities: fishing, hunting, hiking, farming or backpacking. A permit is required to carry concealed in towns and cities, as well as logging, mining or railroad camps.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Own a Gun in Montana?

There is no Montana state law regarding age restrictions on the purchase or possession of firearms. However, it is unlawful for a parent, guardian or other person having charge or custody of a minor child under the age of 14 years to permit the minor child to carry or use in public any firearms. That is except when the child is accompanied by a person having charge or custody of the child or under the supervision of a qualified firearms safety instructor or an adult who has been authorized by the parent or guardian. Per federal law, dealers may not sell handguns to anyone under the age of 21 and private sellers may not sell handguns to anyone under the age of 18.

Is Montana a Stand Your Ground State?

Yes. Montana is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” law. A person is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. The law applies in an occupied structure, personal property lawfully in the person’s possession or in the possession of another who is a member of the person’s immediate family or household, or of a person whose property the person has a legal duty to protect. A person who is lawfully in a place or location and who is threatened with bodily injury or loss of life has no duty to retreat from a threat or to summon law enforcement assistance prior to using force.

Does Montana Have Reciprocity?

Yes. Montana recognizes concealed weapons permits from some other states. Non-residents must have a concealed carry permit in his or her possession along with photo identification. People who hold permits from the following states may not carry concealed weapons in Montana because the state laws do not expressly require background checks of permit applicants: Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Ready to Learn More About Montana Gun Laws?

It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know and understand the laws regarding your concealed carry rights. The USCCA’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity & Gun Laws Map has been designed to help inform and educate armed citizens like you. To learn more about Montana’s concealed carry permit application process, concealed carry restrictions and training requirements, visit the Montana gun laws page now…

The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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