Montana allows the use of firearms within the state. However, you must abide by the gun laws of both the state and local municipalities.

There are also location restrictions for firearms possession.

To open carry in Montana, you need to understand the state laws and prohibitions for the practice.

Montana Gun Laws Summary

Montana issues concealed weapon permits in the state for the possession of firearms and related deadly weapons.

The local county in a state oversees the application for this permit.

Since Montana is a shall-issue state, as long as you meet all the requirements to apply for a permit, the state will grant it.

However, you do not need the permit to purchase firearms, but it can wave the criminal record background check.

The check is compulsory for those who do not have a permit and are buying firearms from a federal or state-licensed dealer.

To apply for the Montana permit application, you must be at least nineteen years old.

Is Open Carry Legal In Montana?

Yes, open carry is legal in Montana for anyone that is above the age of eighteen years with no state or federal restriction to use firearms.

Minors that are at least fourteen years old can also open carry with supervision from parents.

Open Carry Laws In Montana

Montana is a permissive open carry state, and you do not need a license to open carry within its territory.

Not all firearms are legal for open carry in Montana.

It is a felony act to buy, sell, possess, or use machine guns and armor-piercing ammunition in the state.

Montana Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoYou do not need any permit to open carry in Montana.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NonoMontana gun laws do not require the registration of any type of firearm.
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoMontana gun laws ban the possession of assault weapons like machine guns and semi-automatic firearms in the state.
Magazine limitNoNoThe state gun laws do not limit the number of firing rounds a magazine can have. Neither are there restrictions for large capacity firearms.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredMontana does not issue an exclusive license to own a firearm in the state.
Red flag lawNoNoMontana does not have a red flag law to restrict the possession of firearms.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesMontana is a castle doctrine state with a stand your ground policy and a no duty to retreat in a home of residence and anywhere an individual has lawful rights to be.
Background check for private dealersNoNoYou do not need to undergo a criminal record background check while purchasing a firearm from a private dealer in the state. However, this is compulsory for federally and state-licensed dealers.
PreemptionYesYesMontana has preemption gun laws in the state, and only the state government is in charge of regulating the use of firearms. However, local areas can ban or prohibit weapons in some locations within their territory.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesYou can apply for Montana concealed weapon licenses to conceal carry in towns and city areas.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou can conceal carry in your vehicle as long as you have the state concealed weapon permit.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoMontana prohibits the possession of firearms and open carry in schools, colleges, and university areas.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Montana?

Montana allows open carry in the following parts of the state:

  • Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in the restaurant areas except if you are under the influence of alcohol, or there is a post that restricts the possession of firearms in such a venture.
  • Personal vehicle: In Montana, It is legal to open carry in private cars.
  • Roadside areas: You can open carry in roadside areas of Montana.
  • Parks and forests: You can open carry in parks and forests of Montana, as well as in the state’s wildlife management areas.
  • Places of worship: Montana gun laws do not restrict those in charge of worship buildings from prohibiting the possession of firearms.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Montana?

Montana gun laws prohibit open carry and the possession of firearms in the following parts of the state:

  • Schools: You are not permitted to open carry in schools, colleges, universities, and their facilities.
  • Government offices: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in any building or facility used by government officials.
  • Financial institutions: You cannot open carry in any bank, credit union, or saving institution in Montana.
  • Bars: You cannot possess a firearm in any place that sells alcohol for onsite consumption in Montana.
  • While under the influence: You cannot open carry or handle firearms while under the influence in any part of the state.
  • Game reserve areas: Except you obtain permission from the adequate authority, you cannot open carry in any game reserve area in Montana.
  • Public transport: You cannot open carry in public transport, including trains.
  • Public buildings: You cannot open carry in any public building in Montana.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot possess firearms or open carry in areas that are not permitted by federal laws of the United States.

FAQ About Open Carry In Montana

Some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry in Montana include the following:

Must I Apply For A State Permit Before I Open Carry In Montana?

No. You do not need a permit or license to open carry in Montana.

Do I Need A Permit To Conceal Carry In Montana?

Yes. For concealed carry in towns and cities of Montana, you need Montana concealed weapon permits.

What Is The Age For Open Carry In Montana?

You can open carry in Montana as long as you are eighteen years old or more.

Also, minors that are fourteen years old can open carry in the state with supervision from parents, guardians, or firearm instructors.

What Is The Age Requirement For Concealed Carry In Montana?

You can conceal carry in Montana as long as you are eighteen years old or more.

At What Age Can I Apply For Montana Concealed Weapon Permit?

You must be at least nineteen years old to apply for a concealed carry permit in Montana.

Does Montana Make Use Of Red Flag Law In The State?

No. There are no red flag laws in Montana.

Is Montana Concealed Carry Permit Available For Non-Residents Of The State?

No. Montana concealed weapon permit is not issued to a non-resident of the state.

However, Montana honors permit from other states that run a criminal record background check before issuing a license.

Non-residents from these states can make use of such licenses in Montana.

Does Montana Permit Constitutional Carry In The State?

No. Montana does not allow constitutional carry.

Does Montana Allow The Open Carry Of Knives In The State?

Montana does not prohibit open carry, concealed carry, and possession of knives in the state.

But it is unlawful to possess a knife that is more than four inches long, a razor, or a sword, in any school premises of the state.

Can I Open Carry Every Type Of Firearms In Montana?

Not all types of firearms are lawful for open carry in Montana. Some of those prohibited by gun laws of the state include:

  • Machine guns, except for scientific, curiosity, or ornamental purposes.
  • Firearm silencers.
  • Armor-piercing ammunition.
  • Sawed-off firearms.

Rifle with barrel longer than sixteen inches or with a total length of more than twenty-six inches. Or a shotgun gun with barrel length longer than eighteen inches, or more than twenty-six inches total length.

Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In Montana?

No. Montana does not issue a purchase permit to buy firearms in the state.

Must I Complete A Criminal Record Background Check Before I Buy A Firearm in Montana?

Yes. It is compulsory to complete a criminal record background check before buying firearms in Montana. Except you are purchasing from a private dealer, or you have the state’s concealed weapon license.

Also, there is a required five days waiting period to complete this check.

When Will Montana Concealed Carry Permit Expire?

The permit will expire after four years. Then you have to apply for a renewal permit within a required period or forfeit it.

Do I Have A Duty To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In Montana?

No, you are not obliged to tell any law officer about your possession of a firearm.

However, non-residents that possess firearms in Montana must be with their out-of-state permit at all time.

Does Montana Have Any Castle Doctrine Policy?

Yes. Montana is a castle doctrine state with a stand your ground policy in dwelling places, personal properties, or wherever a person has legal rights to be at a particular period.

Can I Make Use Of Deadly Force During Self-defense In Montana?

Yes. A person can make use of deadly force that causes bodily harm or can lead to an imminent death if it will prevent a crime or forcible felony and protect the person’s life or that of a third party.

The state will grant immunity for deadly force used during self-defense.

Must I Undergo A Firearm Training Before I Apply For Montana’s Concealed Weapon License?

Montana does not mandate firearm training in the state to apply for firearm permits or to possess firearms.

Must I Register Firearms Before Making Use Of Them In Montana?

The state gun law does not say anything about the registration of firearms.

How Soon Can I Apply For A Renewal Permit In Montana?

You can start applying for the permit ninety days before your initial license expires.

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In Montana

Here are some of Montana gun laws relating to the open carry of firearms in the state.

Ammunition Restrictions

Montana bans the use of armor-piercing ammunition in the state. Anybody that uses a firearm with such ammunition to threaten, injure or attempt to hurt someone will face prosecution.

Preemption Of Open Carry Laws

Montana has preemption for all gun laws in the state, and by extension, a preemption for all open carry requirements.

This means the state government has full authority to regulate firearm statutes.

However, local governments can:

  • Adopt policies to regulate or ban the shooting of firearms within its territories.
  • Control and regulate the use and discharge of handguns, rifles, and other firearm types in the state.
  • Prohibit and limit the use of firearms during open carry or concealed carry, in the public, schools, and areas within its territory.
  • Prohibit and limit the possession and use of firearms by convicted felons, underage, and mentally impaired people in the state.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Montana prohibits illegal brandishing of firearms in the state.

A person who dangerously or offensively uses a firearm, with no legal reason, will be guilty of Montana improper conduct.

A person is guilty of assault if he or she deliberately causes bodily harm to another person with a firearm or anything that looks like a weapon in the state.

Open Carry While Under The Influence Of Alcohol

Section forty-five of Montana statutes state that it is illegal for anybody to handle firearms while under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicating substance.

Open Carry While Hunting In Montana

Montana allows open carry while hunting or engaging in similar activities such as fishing, hiking, trapping, or any other recreational activity in the state.

Note that you can also possess a firearm while bow hunting in the state, but you cannot make use of it.

Montana has hunter harassment laws to protect activities related to hunting in the state.

They include the following:

  • Nobody shall deliberately interfere with any hunting activity that has to do with animals in the wild or fishing, as long as the state licenses it.
  • Nobody shall affect animal behavior or disturb the hunting of games by using an object to change wildlife behavior.
  • Nobody shall harass or disturb any individual that is taking part in legal hunting activity.

Additional Resources

Montana Gun Laws
Montana Concealed Carry Laws
Montana Gun Permit Laws

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