1. News & Issues
Send to a Friend via Email

Montana Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in Montana

By

Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.

Concealed Carry

Montana is a “shall-issue” state, meaning concealed carry permits must be issued to qualified applicants. However, no permit is needed to carry concealed outside cities, towns and logging camps. Qualified applicants in Montana must be residents of the state for at least six months prior to applying for a permit and must be at least 18 years old. Applicants must successfully complete a hunter safety course or firearms safety course. Permits are issued within 60 days at a cost of $50, and are valid for four years.

Persons who are not issued a permit in Montana include those barred from gun ownership under federal law — including convicted felons and the mentally ill, those who were dishonorably discharged from the military, those who have been convicted of carrying concealed while intoxicated within the past five years, violators of certain crimes.

States that honor Montana’s permits include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

Montana honors permits from: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Castle Doctrine

Montana has a castle law with a “stand-your-ground” clause. Under the law, the use of deadly force is permissible to prevent felonies from being committed in one’s home or to protect against assault within one’s home.

The statute reads:

  45-3-103. Use of force in defense of occupied structure. (1) A person is justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that the use of force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's unlawful entry into or attack upon an occupied structure.

     (2) A person justified in the use of force pursuant to subsection (1) is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if:

     (a) the entry is made or attempted and the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent an assault upon the person or another then in the occupied structure; or

     (b) the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Open carry is permissible in Montana under most circumstances. Concealed carry is permissible without a permit outside cities and towns.

Additionally, Montana has a preemption law that prevents municipal or county governments from enacting gun laws more restrictive than state law, and a law that protects gun ranges.

Restrictions

Gun bans: None.

Waiting periods for gun purchases: None.

License or permit required to purchase guns: None

Registration of guns: None.

Places in Missouri where carrying is prohibited, with or without a permit:

  • Government offices
  • Banks
  • Schools
  • Establishments where alcohol is sold for on-premises consumption.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.