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Quick Summary Of Montana Concealed Weapons Permits

Montana issues CCW permits at the local county level with applications submitted to the sheriff’s office.

The state is a permit-less carry state and also a Shall-issue state, and if you meet all requirements, you will be issued a concealed carry permit without further ado.

If you’re purchasing from an individual (privately) you will not need a permit, nor background check, nor registration for purchase.

Montana does require a background check for those residents purchasing a handgun from an FFD (Federal Firearms Dealer) except for those individuals with a Montana CWP (concealed weapons permit).

However, there are a lot of things that you need to know about conceal carrying in Montana if you intend to do so in the state.

This information will keep you out of trouble with law enforcement agencies.

Montana Gun Law

You can conceal carry in Montana WITHOUT a CWP as long as you are more than eighteen years old and federally legal able to own a firearm, and this covers regions of the state used for activities such as hunting, fishing, farming, and hiking.

Montana concealed carry permit application can only be done by residents of the state. The state does not issue a non-resident resident permit.

Furthermore, there are various gun restrictions within Montana’s jurisdiction. 

Municipalities and towns are also allowed to enact concealed carry restrictions as they deem fit, although HB-102 was signed on February 21st 2021 which got rid of a majority of these gun-free areas upon enactment.

Montana CCW Reciprocity

For CCW reciprocity, Montana accepts permits from states that have the following requirement for a CCW.

  • Criminal background checks before issuing a CCW permit.
  • The CCW permit must be with the holder at all times.
  • The holder must have an identification card along with the CCW permit from his/her state of residence.

Other aspects of Montana CCW permit are as follows:

  • States that Montana will honor their CCW permits: Montana will accept a CCW permit from these states as long as they meet the above requirements. There are forty-four of such states in America.
  • States that will honor Montana CCW permits: You are allowed to conceal carry in these states as long as you are with a valid CCW issued by the state of Montana. There are three of them.
  • States that have restricted reciprocity with Montana: Although these states honor Montana CCW permit, their age requirement is not the same with Montana gun laws. You must be twenty-one years old or more before you can conceal carry in these states, whereas the age requirement for Montana CCW permit is eighteen. There are three of them.
  • States that have a permit-less carry policy: You are allowed to conceal carry in these states as long as you are within the minimum age requirement provided by state laws. Other restrictions may also apply. There are seventeen of them.

Before you conceal carry in any state, make sure that you have familiarized yourself with gun laws of the state.

Even if the state allows you to conceal carry with a permit from Montana, you must still handle your CWP according to the laws of the state.

Montana Location Restrictions

Regardless of if you have Montana CCW permit or you are allowed to conceal carry with a permit from another state, there are location restrictions that you must respect according to the laws of the state.

Places Where You Cannot Conceal Carry In Montana.

  • You cannot conceal carry in buildings that have offices used by state or local government areas.
  • You cannot conceal carry on any private building or property that has prohibited the possession of firearms on the premises through signage or a post.
  • You cannot conceal carry in banks, a credit union building, an institution for savings and loans, or any other similar one.
  • You cannot conceal carry within the premises of a school building, both publicly and privately owned, colleges, and technical institutions.
  • You cannot conceal carry anywhere as long as you are under the influence of alcohol or any similar intoxicating substance.
  • You cannot conceal carry in any place that has been restricted by federal laws.

Places Where You Can Conceal Carry In Montana

There are no location restrictions for firearms in the following places:

  • Restaurants and Bars: You can conceal carry in the restaurant or establishment serving alcohol. You must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.
  • Private vehicle: You can conceal carry in your private car as long as you have a Montana CCW permit.
  • Roadsides and rest areas: You can conceal carry along roadsides and in rest areas of the state.
  • National and state parks and forests: You can conceal carry in forests, parks, and wildlife management areas.
  • In a train station: You can conceal carry in a train station but not on the train. If you are with a CCW, you must give it to the train operator before boarding.
  • In places of worship: There are no restrictions on possessing firearms in places of worship. However, since places of worship can be categorized under a privately owned building, you are not allowed to conceal carry if they have a post or signage prohibiting it.

Conceal Carry For Law Enforcement Officers In Montana

Location restrictions do not affect Law enforcement officers in America because of the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) that allows them to conceal carry in any jurisdiction of the United States, without a limitation from state or municipality laws.

This law does only cover active officers. However out of service and retired officers who have a LEOSA identification card are also allowed to conceal carry without restriction.

In Montana, only agencies that have the requirements to qualify retired and out of service officers according to the LEOSA standard are allowed to certify these officers for concealed carry. 

Although some agencies can qualify their retired officers, not all of them have the LEOSA program readily available.

Due to this, only a few retired officers are allowed to conceal carry in Montana. 

Buying And Selling Of Firearms In Montana

Before buying, selling, transporting, or transferring firearms in Montana, you must meet the requirements stated by the laws.

Purchase Permit, Background Checks, And Firearm Registrations.

You do not need a purchase permit to buy a firearm in Montana.

For criminal records background checks, if you are buying from a private individual seller, you will not be required to have one done.

But for state and federal licensed sellers, your criminal record will be checked, and you have to meet other essential requirements as well.

If you already have a Montana CCW permit, then you do not need to have a background check before completing your gun purchase.

Make sure that you do not lose your sales receipt, in case you have to prove ownership of your gun.

In Montana, you do not require firearm registration, and no gun roster list contains legal firearms legal in the state.

What Is The Waiting Period To Compete Gun Purchase In Montana

Except you have a Montana CCW permit, you are required to wait for the constitutional five days before completing your purchase of a firearm.

Age Requirement For Dealing With Firearms In Montana

You are allowed to possess and transport firearms in Montana if you are fourteen years old or more.

Note that this is different from the age for Montana concealed carry permit application, which is eighteen years old.

It is illegal for parents or guardians to allow a child under the age of fourteen to possess a firearm in public.

The only exception to this law is if the child is under supervision by the parent, guardian, or a certified firearm instructor who, in this case, must have the consent of the child’s parents or guardian.

Possession Of Firearm On A Private Property

You do not need a Montana CCW permit to possess a gun in your home of residence, your privately owned property, or business.

Castle Doctrine In Montana

Montana has a castle doctrine law that allows for self-defense and a stand your ground policy.

This law justifies the use of an excessive force that can cause significant damage to the body, or death, as long as it is necessary to prevent an illegal act or a felony.

However, you can only be protected by this law in a building structure that you legally own, that is in your possession, or possession of any of your family members and you have the legal right to protect it. 

In these situations, you do not have any duty to retreat; neither do you have to wait for help from law enforcement officers before protecting yourself, your property, or a member of your household.

Montana CCW Permit Requirements

You must meet all Montana concealed carry permit requirements stated by the state’s gun laws before you are issued a permit.

Note that the board responsible for issuing a permit will go through each requirement, and they will reject your application if you fall short of one.

The requirements are:

  • You must be at least eighteen years old.
  • You must be a legal citizen of the United States of America.
  • You must be a resident of Montana and must have lived in the state for at least six months before applying for a CCW permit.
  • You must prove that you are familiar with the usage and safety handling of a firearm in Montana.
  • You must have a valid form of identification from Montana, such as a driver’s license or a state-issued identification card.
  • You must not be a convicted felon.
  • You must not be mentally impaired or unstable.
  • You must not be a narcotic, or use any illicit substance that is under control by the drug agency.
  • You must meet all federal requirements needed to apply for CCW permits. 

How To Apply For CCW Permit In Montana

Having met all the requirements, you can now proceed to apply for your CCW permit. The process involves the following:

Complete Your Firearm Training Course

Since you will have to prove your familiarity with firearms, you have to complete a Montana concealed carry permit class.

This training could also be a Montana concealed carry online course, as long as it is a state-certified one.

Obtain Your CWP Application

You can either download the application form online or visit your local county secretariat to pick it up.

Contact your sheriff’s office for more details.

Submit The Necessary Documents

After completing the application form, take it alongside the following documents to your local sheriff’s office:

  • Three signed reference forms. These references must not be a relative or an employer.
  • Your photo identification.
  • Your firearm training certificate from an approved course.
  • Your fingerprint.

You will also be required to pay the necessary fee.

Receive Notification Mail.

You will receive a mail to notify you of your CCW permit approval.

How To Apply For Montana CWP Permit Renewal

You can apply for a CWP renewal ninety days before your permit expires.

If you do not renew your permit before it expires, then it becomes invalid, and you have to apply for a new one.

The process for renewal application includes the following:

Obtain Your Renewal Application

You can either download this online or pick it up from your local sheriff’s office.

Submit The Necessary Documents

Take your completed application alongside the following documents to your local sheriff’s office:

  • Three completed and signed reference forms.
  • Your photograph identification form.

Receive Approval Mail

You will get mail notification if your Renewal application is accepted.

Firearm Training Requirements In Montana

To prove your firearm familiarity, you must complete one of the following Montana concealed carry permit course:

  • A hunter training course that is approved by the Fish, Wildlife and Parks department, or a similar department from another state.
  • A firearms safety course that is conducted by the state FWP or a similar department from another state, a law enforcement agency, the national firearms association, or a recognized institution that makes use of certified firearms instructors for a training program.
  • Training conducted by a law enforcement agency for the general public or officers of the law.
  • Possession of CCW permit from another state having completed any of the firearms training that is listed above.
  • Proof that the applicant is or was a member of the military and has passed a firearm training class during service.
  • Pass a test in person where the applicant displays his or her gun expertise and familiarity.

Make sure that any Montana firearm class that you enroll in is state-approved with an instructor certified by Montana police state department.

Montana Concealed Carry FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions you should know about CCW in Montana.

How Long Is My Montana CCW Permit Valid? 

Your permit is valid for four years, after which you have to renew it.

How Much Does Montana CCW Permit Application Cost?

Application for CCW permit is Montana costs sixty dollars, while the renewal application costs twenty-five dollars.

How Long Will It Take Me To Complete My Montana CCW Permit Application?

The processing time for CCW permit application in Montana is Sixty days.

Can I Get A Non-residents CCW Permit In Montana?

No, Montana does not issue a non-resident CCW permit.

Additional Resources

Montana Gun Laws
Montana Open Carry Laws
Montana Gun Permit Laws

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