Montana Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW): Gun Laws, Application, Requirements & Online Training
Montana is a state that issues concealed carry permits at the local county level, with applications submitted to the sheriff’s office. It is a permit-less carry state, meaning you can carry a concealed weapon without a permit if you meet the federal requirements to own a firearm and are at least 18 years old. However, obtaining a concealed carry permit is beneficial, as it allows you to carry in certain restricted areas and provides reciprocity with other states.
Montana Gun Law and Regulations
Concealed Carry Without a Permit
Montana is a permit-less carry state, allowing residents to carry concealed weapons without obtaining a permit. As long as individuals meet the federal requirements to own a firearm and are at least 18 years old, they can carry their firearms concealed. This freedom is particularly useful for individuals engaging in outdoor activities, as they can protect themselves while enjoying the state’s natural beauty.
Montana Concealed Carry Permit Application
Although Montana allows permit-less carry, residents can still apply for a concealed carry permit. The state only issues permits to residents; non-residents cannot obtain a Montana CCW permit. To apply, applicants must meet certain criteria, including being at least 18 years old, a legal citizen of the United States, a Montana resident for at least six months, and demonstrate familiarity with firearm safety and usage.
Gun Restrictions within Montana’s Jurisdiction
While Montana is generally gun-friendly, some localities, municipalities, and towns are allowed to enact concealed carry restrictions as they see fit. However, in February 2021, HB-102 was signed, removing a majority of these gun-free areas upon enactment. Therefore, it’s essential to keep up-to-date with local regulations to avoid any legal issues.
Montana CCW Reciprocity
Montana recognizes concealed carry permits from other states that meet specific requirements. These requirements include criminal background checks before issuing a CCW permit, carrying the permit at all times, and having an identification card along with the CCW permit from the holder’s state of residence.
States Accepting Montana CCW Permits
Montana will accept CCW permits from forty-four states in America, as long as they meet the above requirements. This reciprocity allows Montana permit holders to carry concealed weapons in these states.
States Honoring Montana CCW Permits
Montana CCW permit holders are allowed to carry concealed weapons in three states that recognize Montana’s permits.
States with Restricted Reciprocity
While some states honor Montana CCW permits, their age requirements for concealed carry differ from Montana’s minimum age of 18. Three states fall under this category, requiring permit holders to be at least 21 years old.
Permit-Less Carry States
Montana residents who have met the state’s concealed carry requirements can carry concealed weapons in seventeen states that have permit-less carry policies, as long as they comply with the individual state’s laws and restrictions.
Before carrying a concealed weapon in any state, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with that state’s gun laws to avoid legal complications.
Location Restrictions for Concealed Carry in Montana
Montana has specific locations where concealed carry is restricted to maintain public safety and protect sensitive areas. Understanding these restrictions is crucial for responsible gun ownership.
Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry
In Montana, you cannot conceal carry in certain places, including:
- Buildings with offices used by state or local government.
- Private buildings or properties that have prohibited firearms through signage or posts.
- Banks, credit union buildings, institutions for savings and loans, and similar establishments.
- School buildings, both publicly and privately owned, including colleges and technical institutions.
- Any place while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances.
- Any place restricted by federal laws.
Places Where You Can Conceal Carry
On the other hand, you are allowed to carry concealed weapons in various locations, such as:
- Restaurants and bars, as long as you are not under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating substances.
- Your private vehicle, if you have a valid Montana CCW permit.
- Roadsides and rest areas throughout the state.
- National and state parks and forests, including wildlife management areas.
- Train stations, but not on the train itself. If you have a CCW, you must surrender it to the train operator before boarding.
- Places of worship, unless the place has a post or signage prohibiting firearms.
Conceal Carry for Law Enforcement Officers in Montana
Law enforcement officers are protected under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA), allowing them to carry concealed weapons in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or municipality laws. This law applies only to active officers, but retired and out-of-service officers with a LEOSA identification card are also allowed to carry concealed without restriction.
In Montana, only certain agencies are qualified to certify retired and out-of-service officers for concealed carry under the LEOSA standard. As not all agencies may have the LEOSA program readily available, only a few retired officers are allowed to carry concealed in Montana.
Buying and Selling Firearms in Montana
When it comes to purchasing, selling, transporting, or transferring firearms in Montana, it’s essential to comply with the state’s laws and regulations.
Purchase Permit, Background Checks, and Firearm Registrations
In Montana, you do not need a purchase permit to buy a firearm, whether from a private individual seller or a federal and state-licensed seller. However, criminal background checks are required when purchasing from a licensed seller, but not for private sales.
If you possess a Montana CCW permit, you do not need a background check when purchasing a firearm.
Montana does not require firearm registration, and there is no gun roster list containing legal firearms in the state.
Waiting Period to Complete Gun Purchase in Montana
If you do not have a Montana CCW permit, you must wait for a constitutional five days before completing the purchase of a firearm.
Age Requirement for Dealing With Firearms in Montana
Individuals aged 14 years or older are allowed to possess and transport firearms in Montana. However, this age requirement is different from the age for applying for a Montana concealed carry permit, which is 18 years old. Parents or guardians are prohibited from allowing a child under the age of 14 to possess a firearm in public, except when supervised by the parent, guardian, or a certified firearm instructor with consent from the child’s parents or guardian.
Possession of Firearm on a Private Property
A Montana CCW permit is not required to possess a firearm in your residence, privately owned property, or business.
Castle Doctrine in Montana
Montana has a castle doctrine law that justifies self-defense and a stand your ground policy. This means that individuals are justified in using excessive force, including deadly force, if necessary to prevent an illegal act or a felony.
The castle doctrine applies to a building structure legally owned or in possession of the individual or a member of their family. In such situations, there is no duty to retreat, and the individual is not required to wait for help from law enforcement officers before defending themselves, their property, or a member of their household.
Montana CCW Permit Requirements
To obtain a concealed carry permit in Montana, applicants must meet specific requirements established by the state’s gun laws. The issuing board will thoroughly review each application, and failure to meet any requirement will result in the rejection of the application. The requirements for a Montana CCW permit are as follows:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old.
- The applicant must be a legal citizen of the United States of America.
- The applicant must be a resident of Montana and have lived in the state for at least six months before applying for a CCW permit.
- The applicant must demonstrate familiarity with the safe handling and usage of firearms in Montana.
- The applicant must possess a valid form of identification from Montana, such as a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card.
- The applicant must not be a convicted felon.
- The applicant must not be mentally impaired or unstable.
- The applicant must not be a user of narcotic or illicit substances controlled by drug agencies.
- The applicant must meet all federal requirements needed to apply for CCW permits.
How to Apply for CCW Permit in Montana
Once the applicant has met all the Montana concealed carry permit requirements, they can proceed with the application process, which involves the following steps:
Complete Your Firearm Training Course
To prove familiarity with firearms, the applicant must complete a Montana concealed carry permit class. The training can also be completed through a state-certified Montana concealed carry online course.
Obtain Your CWP Application
Applicants can either download the application form online or pick it up from their local county sheriff’s office. They can contact the sheriff’s office for more details regarding the application process.
Submit the Necessary Documents
After completing the application form, the applicant must submit the following documents to their local sheriff’s office:
- Three signed reference forms from individuals who are not relatives or employers.
- Photo identification.
- Firearm training certificate from an approved course.
- Payment of the necessary fee.
Receive Notification Mail
Upon successful completion of the application process, the applicant will receive mail notification of their CCW permit approval.
How to Apply for Montana CWP Permit Renewal
Montana CCW permit holders must apply for renewal ninety days before their permit expires. Failure to renew the permit before its expiration date renders it invalid, and the holder must apply for a new permit. The process for renewal application includes the following steps:
Obtain Your Renewal Application
The renewal application can be downloaded online or obtained from the local county sheriff’s office.
Submit the Necessary Documents
The applicant must submit their completed renewal application along with the following documents to their local sheriff’s office:
- Three completed and signed reference forms from individuals who are not relatives or employers.
- Photo identification form.
Receive Approval Mail
Upon approval of the renewal application, the applicant will receive mail notification of their renewed CCW permit.
Firearm Training Requirements in Montana
To demonstrate firearm familiarity, applicants must complete one of the following Montana concealed carry permit courses:
- A hunter training course approved by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks department or a similar department from another state.
- A firearms safety course conducted by the state FWP or a similar department from another state, a law enforcement agency, the national firearms association, or a recognized institution with certified firearms instructors.
- Training conducted by a law enforcement agency for the general public or officers of the law.
- Possession of a CCW permit from another state having completed any of the firearms training listed above.
- Proof of being or having been a member of the military and passing a firearm training class during service.
- Passing a test in person to demonstrate gun expertise and familiarity.
It is essential to enroll in a Montana firearm class that is state-approved and taught by a certified instructor from the Montana police state department.
Montana’s concealed carry laws are designed to ensure responsible gun ownership while allowing individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones. Whether carrying with a permit or permit-less, it is essential to understand and abide by the state’s gun laws. The process for obtaining a Montana CCW permit involves meeting specific requirements, completing firearm training, and submitting the necessary documents. Reciprocity with other states is an added advantage for those who wish to travel with their concealed weapons. By following the guidelines and respecting location restrictions, gun owners in Montana can exercise their Second Amendment rights responsibly.
Q: How Long Is My Montana CCW Permit Valid?
A: Your Montana CCW permit is valid for four years, after which you must renew it.
Q: How Much Does Montana CCW Permit Application Cost?
A: The application fee for a Montana CCW permit is sixty dollars, while the renewal application costs twenty-five dollars.
Q: How Long Will It Take Me To Complete My Montana CCW Permit Application?
A: The processing time for a Montana CCW permit application is approximately sixty days.
Q: Can I Get A Non-resident CCW Permit In Montana?
A: No, Montana does not issue non-resident CCW permits.
Q: Can I Carry Concealed Without a Permit in Montana?
A: Yes, Montana is a permit-less carry state, allowing residents to carry concealed without a permit as long as they meet federal requirements and are at least 18 years old. However, obtaining a concealed carry permit is recommended for added benefits and reciprocity with other states.