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Montana Gun Laws


Campaign Veteran
May 6, 2011
Current as of Jan 2019

I found this format from another state forum and liked the summary of information. I decided to copy it and adjust it to Montana laws. I'll expand it as time allows.

All information contained in this post and all linked documents are to be used ONLY as a starting point to the laws and not as legal advice. It is impossible to cite every law that we, as responsible citizens who carry firearms, may need to know. Always check everything found on the internet for correctness and always check Federal, State, and Local laws.

Montana state's constitution protects the "right of any person to keep and bear arms"[+]. Montana has a statewide preemptive law against local regulations of firearms, so ALL of Montana's gun laws should be the same. Local governments can, however, regulate the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons to a public assembly, publicly owned building, park under its jurisdiction or school[+].


[..] Permit to own: No

[+]45-8-321 Permit to carry: Not openly

[+]45-8-344 Minimum age to OC: 14

[..] Loaded Carry: Yes. "Loaded" is not defined in Montana code. "Loaded" is never referenced in Montana code either.

[..] Minimum age to own a firearm: 18

[..] Registration of firearms: No

[..] Person to Person sale: Legal as long as they can legally own the firearm AND it is an instate sale (MT citizen selling to a MT citizen in MT). Background check is not required.

[..] Transport: Rifle - Unloaded. Pistol - Loaded or unloaded. In plain view or in any compartment.

[+]45-3-103 Castle Law: Yes

[+]45-3-110 Duty to retreat: No

[..] Must inform: No

[+]45-8-213 Record police: Yes, one party consent with notification (c)(iii). Notification may not be required for public officials (c)(i).

[+]45-8-328 Carrying in a bar: Yes, openly carried only.

[+]45-8-328 Restaurant carry (as opposed to a bar): Yes. Openly carried only if the establishment serves alcohol.

[+]45-6-201 Signs having weight of law: No. You may be asked to leave and be trespassed if you do not leave.

[..] Able to keep firearms at work: Not statutorily prohibited or protected. Check your employee handbook or policies.

[+]45-8-361 Firearms at school(k-12): Outside of school buildings.

[+]45-8-360 Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act Exemption: Yes, individual licensure for individuals who is lawfully able to own or to possess a firearm under the Montana constitution.


[+]45-8-321 Permit to carry concealed: Yes, within city limits. No, permit required outside of city limits.

[+]45-8-317 Constitutional Carry: No, within city limits. Yes, outside of city limits.

[..] Does the permit cover more than just guns: Yes, knives over 4 inches, dirks, daggers, etc. See Legal to carry below.

[+]45-8-321 Minimum age to apply for a CWP: 18

[+]45-8-317 Legal to carry concealed: Any dirk, dagger, pistol, revolver, slingshot, sword cane, billy, knuckles made of any metal or hard substance, knife having a blade 4 inches long or longer, razor or other deadly weapon.

[+]45-8-315 Can I conceal in a briefcase, purse, backpack or glove box: Yes, without a permit. Concealed is defined as "wholly or partially covered by the clothing or wearing apparel".

[..] Must inform: No

[+]45-8-329 Other state conceal permits: Accepted if permit in immediate possession AND photo identification is provided. State must require background check prior to issuance.

[+]MT DOJ States that MT honor: AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, IL, IO, KS, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NK, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

[..] Printing: Not statutorily prohibited.

[..] Transport: With a permit you can have it anywhere in the vehicle, including on your person concealed.

[+]45-8-328 Places you cannot legally conceal: Public buildings used for state or local government offices. Bank, Credit Union or similar institution (Not including branch offices in shared areas such as a store or mall). A room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed and consumed. [+] A Train.

[+]45-8-317 Required to provide CWP to LEO: Not statutorily required. Only required to be issued a permit for the exception to apply.

Misc Notes

[+] The Montana Attorney General’s Web Site states the following: Montana has no prohibitions against carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle.

[..] You can carry a loaded handgun or other weapon inside your vehicle, (including in the glove box or console) without any type of permit or license within cities and towns and it is not considered concealed.

[..] You can carry a weapon in a briefcase or purse while in the cities and towns in Montana and it is not considered concealed. This is because the [+]definition of concealed in Montana state law.

[..] National Parks in Montana are governed by Montana state laws with regard to concealed or open carry of weapons. You still can not carry into federal buildings (visitor stations, ranger stations, etc.).

Misc Laws

[+]45-7-302 Obstructing: A person commits the offense of obstructing a peace officer or public servant if the person knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the enforcement of the criminal law, the preservation of the peace, or the performance of a governmental function, including service of process.

[+]45-8-101 Disorderly Conduct: A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct if the person knowingly disturbs the peace by:
(a) quarreling, challenging to fight, or fighting;
(b) making loud or unusual noises;
(c) using threatening, profane, or abusive language;
(d) rendering vehicular or pedestrian traffic impassable;
(e) rendering the free ingress or egress to public or private places impassable;
(f) disturbing or disrupting any lawful assembly or public meeting;
(g) transmitting a false report or warning of a fire or other catastrophe in a place where its occurrence would endanger human life;
(h) creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose; or
(i) transmitting a false report or warning of an impending explosion in a place where its occurrence would endanger human life.

[+]45-6-203 Criminal Trespass: A person commits the offense of criminal trespass to property if the person knowingly:
(a) enters or remains unlawfully in an occupied structure; or
(b) enters or remains unlawfully in or upon the premises of another.

Court Cases / Opinions



Currently None.

Common acronyms

CC- Concealed Carry
CWP- Concealed Weapon Permit
DC- Disorderly Conduct
LAC- Law abiding Citizen
LEA- Law Enforcement Agency
LEO- Law Enforcement Officer
FGFSZA- Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act
LR- Long Rifle
NFA-National Firearm Act
OC- Open Carry
OCDO- opencarry.org (Open Carry Dot Org)
P2P- Person to Person
RAS-Reasonable Articulable Suspicion
RKBA- Right to Keep and Bear Arms
SHTF- Sh!t Hit the fan

Please post something if I missed it, or if I have incorrect information/cites.
Last edited:


Regular Member
Feb 19, 2013
This is a great synopsis of Montana law. You did good Slap.

Being as this was a 2015 post, has anything changed?
What timing MSG. As I'm heading out for Big Sky Country soon, I've been checking laws, but I haven't found anything that's changed. Sadly the MT gov'r hasn't passed any gun-friendly legislation over the past few years.


Campaign Veteran
May 6, 2011
Post is current.

Unfortunately, no new expansion of rights in the last 2 legislative sessions due to governor[D] veto's.


Regular Member
Jul 10, 2008
Iowa, USA
Howdy folks,
A friend and I will be headed to Glacier in June 2020. After reading through the laws here, it doesn't say anything about non resident carry. Is it safe to assume that the state laws apply the same to non residents? Thanks in advanced.


Campaign Veteran
May 6, 2011
Howdy folks,
A friend and I will be headed to Glacier in June 2020. After reading through the laws here, it doesn't say anything about non resident carry. Is it safe to assume that the state laws apply the same to non residents? Thanks in advanced.
Non-resident carry is the same. However, MT will not issue non-resident concealed weapons permits.

I have carried in Glacier many times, no issue. Just be aware that it's a federal park and areas such as staffed visitor centers and historic buildings/lodges are considered federal buildings and are off limits. In Glacier, the doors are posted as required by federal law.