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Montana Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 05/24/2019
Carry allowed with my Montana permit?
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

Summary of Montana Gun Laws

Montana is a shall-issue state with concealed weapons permits processed on a local level by the county sheriff’s office.

No permit is needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual, there is no waiting period and there is no firearm registration in the state. A background check is required for private sales in the city of Missoula only. Background checks are required if purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms Dealer. 

Open carry is legal in Montana with several restrictions. The federal minimum age is 18 years old, although 14-year-olds can handle a firearm under direct supervision of a parent or guardian. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and federal buildings. 

Concealed carry without a permit is legal outside of towns or cities while engaged in any of the following activities: logging, mining, railroad camp, fishing, hunting, hiking, farming or backpacking. A permit is required to carry concealed in towns, cities and logging, mining or railroad camps. Although Montana doesn't require firearm safety training, an applicant for a Montana Concealed Weapons Permit (MCWP) must demonstrate “familiarity with a firearm." Montana does not issue permits to non-residents. Local municipalities can prohibit concealed carry at public assemblies, publicly owned buildings and parks under their jurisdiction. As of 10/15/2018, the city of Missoula banned firearms at all polling places, schools, parks, museums, libraries and the city council chambers. In terms of reciprocity, Montana recognizes permits from states that require criminal records background checks.

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 summon law enforcement assistance prior to using force.

53k
Permits Issued
1.1M
State Population
4.99%
Permit Percentage
44
States Honored
34
Reciprocating States.
18
Minimum Age to CC

Montana Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does Montana allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in Montana?

Yes, without a permit. Any person who is at least 18 years old and legally entitled to carry a firearm can open carry. 

[Mont. Code Ann. § 45-3-111]
Gun Permit Licensure?

If Montana requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Shall Issue.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in Montana to get a concealed carry permit?

18

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you conceal carry weapons other than handguns in Montana with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

Concealed weapon means a handgun or a knife with a blade 4 or more inches in length that is wholly or partially covered by the clothing or wearing apparel of the person carrying or bearing the weapon.

[Montana code § 45-8-315]
Non-Resident Permitting?

Does Montana issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

No.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does Montana allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in Montana?

Yes, anywhere with a valid concealed carry permit or outside of cities or towns without a permit. Open carry is legal without a permit. 

[Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-317]
Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Montana?

Yes.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Montana?

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in Montana?

No for concealed carry. Yes for open carry, however, you must not be under the influence.

[Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-328]
Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does Montana have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Not addressed in Montana state law.

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Montana?

No, but out-of-state permit holders must be carrying permit and ID.

[Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-329]
Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does Montana have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does Montana have ammunition restrictions?

No.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Montana? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No.

Preemption?

Does Montana have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes. The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except a city or town may: 

  • Adopt ordinances to regulate, restrict or prohibit the discharge of firearms within its boundaries, under most circumstances.  
  • Regulate the discharge of rifles, shotguns and handguns;
  • Prevent and suppress the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons to a public assembly, publicly owned building, park under its jurisdiction, or school; and
  • Prevent and suppress the possession of firearms by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, illegal aliens, and minors. 
[Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-351]
Red Flag Law?

Does Montana have a red flag law?

No.

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Montana?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit.


STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons."
Article 2, Section 12

Montana Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does Montana honor?

Montana recognizes concealed weapons permits from some other states. Non-residents must meet the following criteria to carry a concealed weapon in Montana:

People who hold permits from the following states may not carry concealed weapons in Montana because their state laws do not expressly require background checks of permit applicants: Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire & Rhode Island.
 

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Other States' Reciprocity With Montana

Which states honor permits from Montana?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with Montana

Which states honor permits from Montana with restrictions?

Colorado (at least 21 years old)
Florida (at least 21 years old)
Georgia (at least 21 years old)
Idaho (at least 21 years old)
Iowa (at least 21 years old)
Louisiana (at least 21 years old)
Michigan (at least 21 years old)
Nebraska (at least 21 years old)
Nevada (at least 21 years old)
North Carolina (at least 21 years old)
Ohio (at least 21 years old)
Oklahoma (at least 21 years old)
Pennsylvania (at least 21 years old)
Tennessee (at least 21 years old)
Texas (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)
Virginia (at least 21 years old)
Wisconsin (at least 21 years old)
Wyoming (at least 21 years old)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kentucky (at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

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Montana Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

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; and
  • Must meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit  $60

Renewals  $25

Valid For:

4 years

Processing Time:

60 days

Application:

Check online for your county sheriff’s office. Some have them available for download.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

Montana doesn’t issue permits to non-residents.

Name/Address Changes:

A permittee who changes the person's county of residence shall within 10 days of the change inform the sheriffs of both the old and new counties of residence. If the person's residence changes either from or to a city or town with a police force, the person shall also inform the chief of police.

Contact the sheriff's office in your county for information on name changes.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

Lost permits are treated as renewals and each county establishes their own guidelines. Contact the sheriff's office in your county for information.


Montana Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a Montana Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete a training course if needed.

Step 2:

Download the application online 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; and
  • Certificate from firearms course

You will be fingerprinted.

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in Montana

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

Find A USCCA class near you


Montana Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a Montana Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

An application to renew a Concealed Weapon Permit can be made up to 90 days prior to the permits expiration date. Applicants with expired permits must reapply and will be charged the new application fee, plus an additional $5.00 finger printing fee.

Step 2:

Download the application, if available for your 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:

  • Contact information for three references that are not relatives or employers; and
  • Photo ID.
Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

According to the Montana Department of Justice, Criminal Investigation Division, because the federal legislation (LEOSA) contained no funding to create state or local programs for qualifying retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed weapon under this provision, there are few agencies offering such programs. While some smaller local agencies may qualify their retirees, such programs are not generally available in Montana and few retired officers here are able to carry concealed weapons under federal legislation. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is offering standard firearms qualifications to all retired law enforcement officers, who reside in Montana. 


Montana Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Montana?

  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? No for concealed, but open carry is legal provided you are not under the influence.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No for concealed, but open carry is legal.
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry when traveling by train? No. Prior to boarding, all firearms and ammunition must be given to the operator of the train.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Montana?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • No weapons, concealed or otherwise, are allowed in school buildings in Montana;
  • Buildings owned or leased by the federal, state or local government financial institutions;
  • Any room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed and consumed;
  • Anywhere while under the influence of an intoxicating substance; 
  • State game preserves, unless in possession of a permit issued by the Director of Fish, Wildlife and Parks;
  • Trains;
  • All polling places, schools, parks, museums, libraries and the city council chambers in Missoula;
  • All public assemblies, city parks and publicly owned buildings in Helena;
  • Portions of a building used for state or local government offices and related areas in the building that have been restricted; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

FAQ: Montana Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in Montana?

No.

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in Montana?

No.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Montana?

No.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a firearm in Montana?

No. A person possessing a concealed weapon permit is considered to have a permit constituting completion of the background check required by 18 U.S.C. 921 through 925A; and is exempt from that act's 5-day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun.

What are the knife laws in Montana?

Montana allows residents to possess and open carry any type of knife. Montana statutes fail to define any type of knives, so it may be difficult to tell if a specific knife may be conceal carried.

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in MT?

Not while under the influence, per Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-327
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.


Related Information & Links for Montana Gun Laws


Montana Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
05/24/2019

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

05/02/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/30/2019

Updated FAQ re: knives based on the passage of HB 155

04/19/2019

Links checked

03/29/2019

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

02/15/2019

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

12/13/2018

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

11/30/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

11/28/2018

Updated preemption details/train carry/self defense laws/newly banned places in Missoula/Helena

11/08/2018

Added link

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for Montana


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Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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