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Montana Gun Control Laws

While the federal government has some limited regulations on firearms, gun control laws are primarily a state law issue. As such, gun control laws vary widely from one state to another. Montana has its own set of gun control laws, which you can find here.

Montana Gun Control Laws

Montana gun control laws are some of the most permissive in the country. A Montana resident does not need a registration, license, or permit to purchase or possess firearms.

The basics of Montana's gun control laws are listed below. See Details on State Gun Control Laws for more information.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Montana Code, Title 45, Chapter 8, Part 3, Sections 45-8-301 through 45-8-361

Illegal Arms

It is illegal to own a sawed-off rifle or sawed-off shotgun.

Waiting Period

Montana does not have a waiting period to buy a gun.

Who May Not Own

A person may not possess a firearm who:
  • Has been convicted of a felony for which the person received an additional sentence for an offense committed with a dangerous weapon or an equivalent offense in another state or under federal law
  • Has been convicted of a felony for which the person is currently required to register for the sexual or violent offender registry

License Required?

Montana does not require a license to buy or own a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

Montana does not require a license to carry a concealed weapon. Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry one in public.

Open Carried Allowed?

Open carry is permitted in Montana, and no license is required to open carry.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

Although a person can carry a concealed firearm without a permit in Montana, the state offers concealed weapon permits for people who may want to carry a concealed weapon in other states. An applicant for a permit to carry a concealed weapon must:
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent lawful resident
  • Be 18 years of age or older and hold a valid Montana driver's license or other form of photo identification issued by the state
  • Have been a resident of Montana for at least 6 months
  • Not be ineligible under Montana or federal law to own, possess, or receive a firearm
  • Not be charged and is awaiting judgment in any state of a state or federal crime that is punishable by incarceration for 1 year or more
  • Not have been convicted in any state or federal court of a crime punishable by more than 1 year of incarceration or a crime that includes as an element of the crime an act, attempted act, or threat of intentional homicide, serious bodily harm, unlawful restraint, sexual abuse, or sexual intercourse or contact without consent
  • Not have been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence or carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place, unless the applicant has been pardoned or 5 years have elapsed since the date of the conviction
  • Not have a warrant out for the applicant's arrest
  • Not have been adjudicated to be an unlawful user of an intoxicating substance and is not under a court order of imprisonment or other incarceration, probation, suspended or deferred imposition of sentence, treatment or education, or other conditions of release
  • Not have been adjudicated in a criminal or civil proceeding in any state or federal court to be mentally ill, mentally disordered, or mentally disabled and is still subject to a disposition order of that court
  • Not have been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed forces
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a firearm by completing an approved firearm safety or training course

Machine Gun Laws

 It is not a crime to possess a machine gun under Montana law. However, the federal government regulates machine guns, and Montana criminalizes possession of a machine gun for an aggressive or offensive purpose.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

Montana's penalties for illegal firearm possession depend on the crime. The following are penalties for specific offenses:
  • Possession of a sawed-off firearm is punishable by 5 days to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of $200 to $500
  • A second or subsequent offense of possession of a sawed-off firearm (or possessing a sawed-off firearm after having been convicted of a felony) is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine
  • A person convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted person shall be imprisoned in state prison for not less than 2 years or more than 10 years.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Illegal possession of a firearm on school property is punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and up to a $500 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law:

Montana Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Charged With a Gun Crime in Montana?

If you face state or federal gun charges, find a qualified attorney through our directory who can help protect your rights.

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