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.