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Montana Gun Laws: What are the Gun Laws in the State of Montana?

The gun laws in Montana regulate the possession, transfer/sale, and use of guns, ammunition, and firearms in the state of Montana in the United States.

The U.S. state of Montana has some of the most liberal and permissive gun laws in the United States. It is a "shall issue" state for permanent lawful residents and citizens of the state and who are 18 years of age and older for the concealed carry of guns/firearms. The law previously denied the issue of permits to those who were not lawful citizens of Montana. But this law was amended. The Montana state legislature was given an opportunity to pass a bill to allow the issue of gun permits to permanent lawful Montana residents. Such bill was finally signed by the state governor and passed on April 7, 2017.

Laws, rules, and regulations about long guns and handguns in Montana:

The Montana county sheriff shall issue a concealed weapons permit to any applicant that meets the required conditions within 60 days of the application if he deems everything to be in order. However, the concealed carry of weapons is not allowed in financial institutions, government buildings, or any place where alcohol is served.

Carrying a concealed weapon in the state of Montana under the influence of alcohol is illegal and prohibited. No weapons/guns/firearms, concealed or otherwise, are allowed inside school premises and buildings. Montana recognizes ‘concealed carry’ permits issued by most other U.S. states but not all. The concealed carry of a gun/firearm without a permit is usually allowed outside the city, town, or outside logging camp limits.

Montana Gun Law
Under Montana gun laws, a gun permit is necessary only when the weapon is "wholly or partially covered by clothing or apparel." Therefore, it is legal to keep and carry a gun/firearm inside a vehicle in the state of Montana without a gun permit (as long as the weapon is not concealed on the person).

Note: If you do not have a concealed weapon permit or a CWP, it could be considered a violation of the law for you to carry or conceal a gun in a bag, backpack or purse, since the law defines a concealed weapon as one that is "wholly or partially covered by the clothing or wearing apparel of the person carrying or bearing the weapon”. As of 2017, the law of concealed weapons applies only to firearms and excludes items such as billies, slingshots, knives, etc. from the permit requirement.


Open carry of long guns and handguns in the state of Montana is generally allowed without a permit.

Montana has state pre-emption of most firearms laws. Local government units may or may not prohibit the registration, taxes, licenses, or may regulate the sale, purchase or transfer, possession, ownership, use, transportation, or the unconcealed carrying of any firearm/gun/weapon. However, local governments may restrict the firing of guns or the carrying of firearms in public buildings or parks or at public assemblies. Government localities may also regulate the possession of firearms by minors, felons, illegal aliens, or mentally incompetent people.

Montana Gun Laws
Montana has numerous restrictions on lawsuits filed against firearms dealers, manufacturers, and trade associations. Such lawsuits may be filed by the state, but local governments are not allowed to file such lawsuits.

The Montana House Bill 246 and the Montana Firearms Freedom Act was signed and passed into the law by Governor Brian Schweitzer on April 15, 2009, and came into effect on October 1, 2009. This law states that certain firearms and accessories of firearms manufactured, sold, and kept within the state of Montana are exempt from federal firearms laws.

NFA weapons restrictions do not apply to long guns and handguns in the state of Montana. NFA weapons are permitted so long such possession/carry complies with all federal regulations.

Peaceable journey laws apply to both long guns and handguns in the U.S. state of Montana.

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