Montana Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs
Montana, often referred to as the “Treasure State,” is known for its stunning landscapes, outdoor activities, and unique approach to firearm regulations. This article delves into Montana’s permit-less status for carrying firearms, the process of obtaining a gun permit, various types of permits, reciprocity agreements, frequently asked questions, and relevant firearm laws.
Montana’s Permit-Less Firearm Carrying Policy
Montana proudly stands as a permitless state when it comes to carrying firearms, whether openly or concealed. However, it’s important to note that individual cities may enforce exceptions for public buildings by displaying appropriate signage.
Montana Gun Permit Summary
Montana’s firearm regulations are largely decided at the county level, as it is a shall-issue state. This means that qualified applicants are entitled to receive a firearm permit. Notably, there are no specific permits required for purchasing firearms. However, possessing a pistol permit eliminates the need for a criminal record check when purchasing firearms.
How to Obtain a Gun Permit in Montana
To acquire a gun permit in Montana, individuals must apply. The minimum age requirement for applicants is eighteen, and their rights to firearm usage must not be suspended. Montana issues pistol permits exclusively for concealed carry within the state’s borders.
Montana’s Open Carry and Age Restrictions
Montana embraces open carry of firearms for individuals aged eighteen or older. Minors aged fourteen and above can also open carry under adult supervision, such as that of parents, guardians, or firearm instructors. Notably, no pistol permit is needed for open carry.
Prohibited Firearm Possession in Montana
While Montana is permissive in many aspects, there are still restrictions in place. Possession of machine guns and similar firearms with the intent to commit crimes is a felony offense. Exceptions are made for scientific research, ornamental purposes, non-aggressive uses, and aesthetics.
Pistol Permit Requirements
To be eligible for a pistol permit in Montana, applicants must meet several criteria, including:
- Being at least eighteen years old.
- Being a legal US citizen.
- Residing in Montana for a minimum of six months.
- Demonstrating familiarity with firearm handling and safety.
- Possessing valid Montana identification.
- Having no felony convictions, mental instability, or narcotic usage.
- Meeting federal CCW permit requirements.
Different Types of Gun Permits in Montana
Montana categorizes firearm permits as follows:
- State permit to purchase long guns: Not applicable.
- State permits to purchase handguns: Not applicable.
- State permit to open carry: Not required due to permissive laws.
- State permits to conceal carry long guns: Not applicable.
- State permits to conceal carry handguns: Issued for concealed carry of handguns.
The Cost and Application Process
Obtaining an initial gun permit in Montana comes for sixty dollars, with renewal permits priced at twenty-five dollars. The application process involves completing firearm training, obtaining application forms, submitting necessary documents, and receiving approval notifications.
Gun Permit Reciprocity
Montana’s acceptance of pistol permits from other states depends on a criminal background check. States with similar requirements include Alabama, Indiana, and North Dakota. Some states recognize Montana permits, while others impose specific requirements for permit holders. Certain states, known as permitless carry states, do not require a permit for firearm possession.
Montana’s approach to firearm regulations reflects its commitment to individual rights while still maintaining a semblance of control. Understanding the permit process, reciprocity agreements and legal provisions empower individuals to navigate the state’s gun laws with confidence.
Q1. Do I Need a Permit to Conceal Carry Firearms in Montana?
Yes, a gun permit is required for concealed carry.
Q2. How Long Is a Montana Concealed Weapon Permit Valid?
Montana pistol licenses are valid for four years, after which renewal is necessary.
Q3. Can Non-Residents Apply for Montana Firearm Permits?
No, only residents are eligible for Montana pistol permits.
Q4. How Can I Change the Name and Address on My Montana Gun License?
Change of residence requires notification to local authorities while changing names involves reporting to the relevant authority.
Q5. What Can I Do If I Lost My Montana Permit or It Gets Stolen?
Report the loss to local authorities, as different counties have varying regulations for replacement permits.
Q6. Can you buy full auto guns in Montana?
Full automatic weapons can legally be owned in Montana with proper licensing under federal law. Civilian ownership requires submitting fingerprints and photographs, passing an extensive FBI background check, paying a $200 ATF tax, and finding and purchasing a registered, transferable machine gun from a dealer licensed to sell automatic firearms.
Q7. Can you buy a gun in Montana if you are not a resident?
Montana does not have major restrictions on state firearm purchases by non-residents. U.S. citizens who can legally own a firearm in their home state can purchase most standard rifles, handguns, and shotguns from federal firearms licensed (FFL) Montana gun dealers after passing a background check successfully.