Montana Gun Laws

Montana Gun Laws










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Getting a concealed carry permit in Montana has become more accessible than ever, thanks to the recent policy changes. If you’re a responsible gun owner in Montana or planning to visit the state, it’s essential to understand the concealed carry laws, permits, and reciprocity agreements. This article aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview of Montana’s concealed carry laws, including recent legislative changes and how reciprocity works.

Overview of Montana Gun Laws

Montana is known for its permissive stance on gun laws, and it operates on a “Shall Issue” policy. To obtain a concealed carry permit, you must be 18 years old and a resident of Montana. The application process is handled on a local level by the county sheriff’s office.

However, Montana allows for concealed carry without a permit if you’re outside a city or town and engaged in specific activities such as logging, mining, camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, farming, or backpacking.

Montana Gun Laws for felons

Montana prohibits felons from purchasing or possessing firearms, aligning with federal regulations. Most felons face a lifetime ban on owning guns in Montana. The state offers limited exceptions if civil rights are legally restored, but otherwise upholds strict penalties for felons found to violate gun laws – including potential 5-year imprisonment per federal statute. In short, Montana keeps tight restrictions on felon firearm rights.

Montana gun laws for out-of-state visitors

Montana does not require out-of-state visitors to have permits, licenses, or registrations for legally owned firearms that they bring into the state. This includes both open and concealed carry. As long as the firearm is legal under both federal law and the visitor’s home state laws, it is permitted within Montana state lines. Out-of-state visitors face no additional restrictions beyond federal regulations when bringing firearms to Montana. The state maintains an open and accommodating posture for legal gun owners visiting from other states. However, prohibited persons such as convicted felons are still banned from possessing firearms regardless of residency status. In effect, Montana welcomes out-of-state legal gun owners with very minimal red tape.

Montana gun laws for travelers

Montana imposes minimal restrictions on legally owned firearms for visitors traveling through the state. No special permits or gun registrations are required for transporting or carrying firearms that are legal under federal and a traveler’s home state laws. Concealed carry is allowed without any state permit needed. Montana openly welcomes U.S. residents transporting legal guns across state lines with little red tape imposed at the state level. However, prohibited individuals like convicted felons face the same firearm bans as they would locally. For most law-abiding gun owners just passing through, Montana offers friendly travel conditions regarding possession of personal legal firearms.

See also  Montana Open Carry

Montana Gun Laws Quick Facts

Constitutional Carry?

Yes – On February 18, 2021, Montana passed HB-102, making it a constitutional carry state. This means you can carry without a permit, except in explicitly off-limit locations like government buildings.

Montana Gun Laws

Open Carry Permitted?

Yes – Montana allows open carry without a permit for individuals who are 18 years or older and legally allowed to possess a firearm. However, some cities may have specific regulations, so it’s best to check local laws.

Carry In Vehicle?

Yes – Montana allows concealed carry within vehicles as long as you are legally permitted to possess a firearm.

Carry In State Park?

Yes – Montana permits both concealed and open carry within state parks as long as you’re outside a city or town and engaged in outdoor activities where firearms are commonly used for sport or protection.

Carry In Restaurants?

Yes – Montana’s constitutional carry law (HB-102) allows concealed carry in restaurants or bars as long as you are not intoxicated.

No Weapon Sign Enforced?

No – Montana does not have specific laws giving no weapon signs the force of law.

Must Notify Officer?

No – There are no duty-to-inform laws for Montana residents. However, if you are carrying with a permit from another state that Montana honors, you must carry your permit and a valid photo ID and present them when asked by law enforcement.

Montana CCW Reciprocity List

Montana has reciprocity agreements with several states, allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry in each other’s states. Here are the states that honor Montana’s CCW permits:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Note: Some states may have restricted reciprocity with Montana.

States NOT Honoring CCW

While Montana has reciprocity agreements with many states, there are still some states that do not honor Montana’s CCW permits. If you plan to carry a concealed weapon, be aware that the following states do not recognize Montana’s permit:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
See also  Montana Gun Permit

How Reciprocity Works In Montana

Reciprocity agreements enable concealed carry permit holders to legally carry in states that have established agreements with Montana. However, it’s crucial to understand where you can and cannot carry while visiting or traveling through Montana. Here’s a breakdown of places allowed and places not allowed for concealed carry in the state:

Places Allowed

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Roadside rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • All areas of the state – except those listed below

Places Not Allowed

  • Any room where alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed.
  • Any building leased by a local school district and used for instruction or student activities.
  • Portions of a building used for state or local government offices and related restricted areas.
  • On trains.
  • Montana University System campuses (per the December 1, 2021, First Judicial District ruling).
  • Any place where carrying firearms is prohibited by federal law.
  • A bank, credit union, savings and loan institution, or similar institution during the institution’s normal business hours. However, it is not an offense to carry a concealed weapon while using an institution’s drive-up window, automatic teller machine, or unstaffed night depository, or while at or near a branch office of an institution in a mall, grocery store, or other place, unless the person is inside the enclosure used for the institution’s financial services or is using the institution’s financial services.

Montana: Concealed Carry Laws

Open Carry

Yes, open carry in Montana is legal even without a permit. However, it is important to note that carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is illegal in cities or towns.

Montana defines “concealed” as 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. It is legal to carry a concealed weapon outside city or town limits without a permit.

Carry In Vehicle

Without a permit, you can carry concealed in your vehicle outside cities and towns. If you are in a city or town while in the vehicle, the loaded firearm must be in the glove box or console.

If you have a permit, you can carry concealed in a vehicle at any time.

Carry In State Parks

Yes, you are permitted to carry in state parks, state forests, Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), and roadside rest areas.

Carry In Restaurants

Yes, you can carry openly in restaurants that serve alcohol. However, carrying a concealed firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol is not permitted. Be sure to check with the staff if any “NO GUN” signs are posted, and if you plan to consume alcohol, leave your firearm at home or secured elsewhere.

See also  Montana Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

Constitutional Carry

Yes, Montana recognizes constitutional carry. On February 18th, 2021, HB-102 was passed, making it legal for residents to open or concealed carry without a permit.

No Weapon Signs Enforced

No, “No Weapons” signs are not mentioned in Montana gun laws. Entering a private property or business with these signs does not carry legal penalties unless the areas are specifically mentioned in the law as off-limits.

Must Notify Officer

No, Montana gun laws do not require you to inform law enforcement officers about carrying a firearm or carrying a permit if you are a resident. However, if you are carrying with a permit from another state that Montana honors, you must have your permit/license and ID.


Montana offers gun owners a favorable environment for concealed carry with its constitutional carry policy. Residents and visitors can enjoy the freedom to carry firearms for personal protection and recreational purposes. However, it’s essential to be aware of the state’s laws and regulations, especially regarding reciprocity with other states. As you travel or plan to carry in Montana or other states, always ensure compliance with local laws and exercise responsible gun ownership.


1. Can I carry a concealed weapon in a restaurant that serves alcohol in Montana?

Yes, Montana allows open carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. However, carrying a concealed firearm in such establishments is not permitted.

2. Does Montana enforce “No Weapons” signs on private property or businesses?

No, “No Weapons” signs do not have the force of law in Montana, and there are no legal penalties for entering properties with such signs.

3. Can I carry concealed in a vehicle without a permit in Montana?

Yes, Montana allows concealed carry in a vehicle without a permit outside of cities and towns. However, if you are in a city or town, the loaded firearm must be in the glove box or console.

4. Does Montana have reciprocity agreements with other states for concealed carry?

Yes, Montana has reciprocity agreements with numerous states, allowing concealed carry permit holders to legally carry in each other’s states.

5. Is there a minimum age requirement to obtain a concealed carry permit in Montana?

Yes, you must be 18 years old to obtain a concealed carry permit in Montana.

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