Montana Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in Montana.

In Montana, adults may purchase and openly carry firearms without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body. (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-321.)

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in Montana.

How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit in Montana

To obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must apply at the police or sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • be a United States citizen
  • have been a Montana resident for at least six months
  • have a valid Montana driver’s license or other state-issued photo identification,
  • and demonstrate familiarity with a firearm (either by completing a training course, possessing a license from another state requiring a training course, or being a member of law enforcement or the military).

Additionally you must NOT:

  • be ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law
  • be a convicted felon, or awaiting judgment for a felony charge
  • have been convicted of certain other violent crimes
  • have a warrant issued for your arrest in any state
  • be an unlawful user of controlled substances, or have been committed to a facility for treatment for the abuse of a controlled substance, or have been convicted of specified crimes involving controlled substances, within the last five years
  • chronically and habitually use alcohol to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired
  • have been adjudicated as mentally ill or disabled, or
  • have been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed services.

(Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-321.)

Does Montana Recognize Concealed Handgun Permits From Other States?

Yes. Montana recognizes valid concealed handgun permits from other states if:

  • you have the permit from your home state in your possession
  • you have an official photo identification with you, and
  • your home state requires a criminal background records check of permit applicants prior to issuing you a permit.

A current list of reciprocal states is available at the Montana Department of Justice’s website.

(Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-329.)

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License

Penalties for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit in Montana include a fine of up to $500, up to six months in jail, or both. A second conviction can incur a fine of up to $1,000, up to five years in prison, or both. (Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-316.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in Montana, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.


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