Montana Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Montana That You Need To Know 

Using a gun in the state of Montana is allowed, but you must follow the gun laws of both the state and local municipalities.

If you are unsure of what the Montana gun laws are about, then you’ve come to the right place to learn more. At the end of our Montana Gun Laws guide, you will be decently informed and be able to comply with the laws.


The Montana gun laws work on an “Unrestricted” and “Shall Issue” policy. It issues concealed weapon permits in the state related to the possession of firearms and deadly weapons.

The body that oversees the application for this permit will be the local county. Since Montana is a shall-issue state, you will receive the permit from the state, given that all requirements are met.

You do not need a permit to purchase a firearm in Montana, but it does call for a criminal record background check. It is a requirement for a federal or state-licensed dealer to do the check on those who don’t have a permit before a purchase. Keep on reading to find out more about the gun laws in Montana.

Is Open Carry Legal In Montana?

Yes, it is legal to open carry in Montanna as long as the person is over 18 years of age and doesn’t have a state or federal restriction to use firearms. You should be aware that minors under the age of 14 are also allowed to open carry, but have to be under the supervision of their parents or a qualified firearms safety instructor.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Montana?

Even though it is legal to open carry in Montana, it doesn’t mean that you can do it everywhere. Here are some places that prohibit open carry that you should take note of:

  • You are not allowed to open carry in schools, colleges, universities, and their facilities. In other words, if a building is leased by a local school district and used for instruction or student activities, is prohibited.
  • You are not to carry in any place that sells, dispenses, or has alcoholic beverages consumed. For example, you are prohibited to carry in a bar because alcohol is sold for onsite consumption.
  • You are not supposed to carry when in government offices. Not only is carrying disallowed in government buildings or facilities used by government officials, but you cannot possess firearms too.
  • You cannot have a concealed carry or openly carry when you’re in a bank, credit union, savings, and loan institution, or similar institution during the standard business hours of said institutions in Montana. However, it will not be an offense if you conceal carry while using an institution’s drive-up window, automatic teller machine, or unstaffed night depository. It is also acceptable if you have a concealed carry within the vicinity of a branch office of an institution in a mall, grocery store, or other places unless you, the person, is within the area used for the institution’s financial services or is using the institution’s financial services.
  • You are prohibited to open carry while in public transports, such as a train, or in public buildings in Montana.
  • You are also not allowed to possess firearms or openly carry in places that are not permitted by federal laws of the United States, which we will look into shortly.

Federally Prohibited Places

When it comes to federally prohibited places, it doesn’t matter if it’s a concealed carry or an open carry, loaded or unloaded, firearms are prohibited entirely. ‘No weapons’ signs must also be present and seen at federal facilities in order to be convicted. Here is each prohibited place according to federal law.

  • Federal court facilities. Places like courthouses and offices like a Social Security office are restricted areas for an open or concealed weapon.
  • Interstate transportation protection. This part is to protect the innocent passage of travelers who might have a weapon in a prohibited jurisdiction. In the case where the vehicle doesn’t have a compartment to separate the driver and the passenger, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.
  • Airports/Aircraft. Under federal law, unconcealed or concealed weapons are not allowed beyond the TSA checkpoints. Even loose ammunition, empty magazines, used cases, and minor gun parts can be an issue for travelers.
  • Military bases. Self-defense weapons are generally disallowed on base. Almost all civilians are not to possess a firearm on base. Even service members may be asked to keep their weapons if their commanding officer directs.
  • National park. Carrying a firearm is only restricted by state and local laws. If it’s legal to carry somewhere else in the state, then it’s legal in the park. In this case, conflicts with the state laws about carrying and possessing firearms, except for shooting bans don’t apply. However, when it comes to the park building in Montana, the prohibition of firearms still applies because it is considered a federal facility.
  • Indian reservations. Indian reservations are a gray area because some reservations in Montana permit concealed carry with a valid concealed carry permit. Tribes are not allowed to enforce tribal law on non-tribal members, but they can still enforce state and federal law. As such, you risk the confiscation of your firearm if you’ve trespassed on the reservation.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Montana?

While there are places that are illegal to open carry, there are also places where it’s legal to open carry. Here are some of the places that allow you to carry a concealed weapon or open carry:

  • Restaurants and bars. Yes, it is illegal to open carry in restaurants or bars, but only if you are under the influence of alcohol, or there is a post that restricts the possession of firearms in the related areas. Other than that, carrying is fine in such locations.
  • Own vehicle. There isn’t a law that restricts carrying in private vehicles, so feel free to do so.
  • Roadside areas. Roadside rest areas in Montana allow the carrying of a firearm, which means you can carry a concealed weapon in those areas too.
  • Parks and forests. Besides the parks and forests in Montana, you are also allowed to open carry in the state’s wildlife management areas. However, the law for carrying in national parks is slightly different and you can refer to what we’ve mentioned earlier for more information.
  • Places of worship. The Montana law for carrying doesn’t restrict you from carrying in worship buildings, but it also doesn’t stop those in charge of said places to prohibit the carrying of firearms.

Who is Not Allowed to Possess a Firearm?

Some people in Montana aren’t allowed to carry a firearm and they are considered federally prohibited persons.

Here are the people who are not allowed to carry a weapon:

  • People that are under indictment or information in any court for a crime are punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than one year. A felony case is one of the examples as you’ll be arrested to be in court, but not yet convicted.
  • People who have been convicted of a crime that requires them to serve a term exceeding one year. In other words, a felon.
  • Fugitives from justice are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon or any assault weapons at all.
  • An individual who is labeled as an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, including marijuana, whether it is for medicinal purposes or not.
  • An illegal alien.
  • Anyone who was dishonorably discharged from the military.
  • People who have renounced their United States citizenship.
  • Anyone who was subjected to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner.
  • A person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

The state law mentions that it’s not legal to purposely or knowingly purchase a firearm after the person has been convicted of a felony. The penalty for violating this state law is lifetime supervision by the state in order to prohibit the person’s right to purchase and possess firearms.

Must I Apply For A State Permit Before I Open Carry?

No. If you intend to open carry in Montana, you do not need a permit or license. However, if you want to conceal carry in Montanna, then you’ll need Montana concealed weapon permits. Here are some things that you might want to know when it comes to getting a concealed weapon permit.

What is the age requirement for concealed carry?

In order to carry a concealed firearm in Montana, you need to be over eighteen years old.

What other requirements are there to carry a concealed firearm?

Other than being more than eighteen years old, you need to be a Montana resident for six months, be a US citizen or permanent lawful resident, show that you are familiar with a firearm, possess a valid form of photo ID issued by the state, like your driver’s license.

What else do I need to know to get a concealed weapon permit?

Apart from the requirements that were mentioned, you should also be aware of the steps to get a concealed carry permit in Montana. Here is a simplified guide for getting a permit to carry in Montana:

  1. The first step is to complete a training course to learn to use guns.
  2. Then, download the application form or get it from the local county sheriff’s office.
  3. For the documents, you will need to prepare three completed and signed reference forms, a photo ID, and proof that you’ve gone through a firearms course.
  4. Once you have the documents ready, go to your local county sheriff office and file your application for the permit.
  5. When the application for the permit is approved, you will be notified by mail.


Coming to the end of this guide, we hope that you have gained valuable insights about the Montana gun laws and use them to your advantage. Just be sure to oblige every law set by the state or local government if you don’t want to get into legal trouble.

Some of the more important things to remember are when and where you’re allowed to open carry and when and where you’re not. For instance, the last thing you want to do is to open carry in local government offices and get arrested. Be sure to refer to the things we’ve mentioned above to get a better idea.


Is there a red flag law in the state of Montana?

No. There isn’t such a law implemented in Montana to prohibit the possession of firearms.

Must I go through firearms training before I can apply for a concealed firearm license?

No. It is not a requirement in the state of Montana to go through any courses in order to apply for concealed carry permits or for the possession of firearms.

Do I need to inform the law enforcement officer about my possession of firearms?

No. You are under no obligation to inform law enforcement officers about you carrying a concealed weapon. However, it is recommended for non-residents that carry firearms in Montana to have their out-of-state permit at all times.

Does Montana have any castle doctrine policy?

Yes. Montana is a castle doctrine state that comes with a stand your ground policy in dwelling places, private property, or wherever a person has legal rights to be at any given time.

Can I utilize deadly force in a personal-defense situation in Montana?

Yes. Any person is allowed to make use of deadly force that causes bodily harm or can lead to an imminent death if it’s for the prevention of a crime or forcible felony. Immunity will be granted in such situations and many people carry concealed weapons with them for defensive purposes too.

Is it necessary to register firearms before using them?

There aren’t any local laws that mention anything about the registration of firearms.

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