Montana Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Everything You Need to Know About the Gun Laws of Montana – One Step Closer to Your Concealed Carry License.

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Montana Reciprocity Map

Montana Concealed Carry Reciprocity Overview



















Become a Knowledgeable Gun Owner in Montana

If you live in Montana and want to apply for a concealed carry license, you need to know the Montana gun laws. With so many laws and so much to learn, how do you even begin?

Concealed Coalition is the leader in gun law education. We provide you with the knowledge, training, and certification you need to achieve your concealed carry permit. We have trained over one million U.S. citizens on how to carry their weapons safely and effectively.

Contact us via phone at (406) 201-1652 or go online for local training to get your CC license in Montana. 

Summary of Montana Gun Laws

Your Montana Gun Rights

Montana is a shall-issue permitless carry state. Concealed weapons permits are processed locally by the county sheriff’s office.

Shall issue means that as long as an applicant passes the basic requirements set out by state law, the issuing authority county sheriff or police department is compelled to issue a permit. Permitless carry includes constitutional carry and means no state permit is required to carry a handgun.

A permit is not needed to purchase a firearm from a private individual, there is no firearms registration or waiting period and no background check is needed. Background checks are needed if you’re purchasing a handgun from a Federal Firearms Dealer unless you have a Montana Concealed Weapons Permit.

Open Carry in Montana

Open carry is legal without a permit for anyone 18 years old and over that can legally possess a firearm in Montana. The federal minimum age is 18 years old, although state law allows 14-year-olds to carry or use a firearm in public under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or qualified firearms instructor. Some areas are off-limits, including federal buildings. 

Concealed Carry in Montana

Concealed carry is legal without a permit in most locations for anyone 18 years old or over that can legally own a firearm. A permit is required to carry concealed in areas of a building used for state or local government offices. The HB-102 order signed on 18th February 2021 eliminated many of the gun-free zones in Montana. Concealed is defined as a handgun that is wholly or partially covered by the clothing or apparel being worn by the person carrying the weapon.

Gun owners in Montana don’t require firearms safety training. Montana Concealed Weapons Permit (MCWP) applicant needs to show an acceptable familiarity with a firearm. Montana doesn’t issue gun permits to non-residents. Local municipalities can prohibit any unpermitted cases of concealed carry in publicly owned occupied buildings. Montana has reciprocity with states that require criminal record background checks.

Self Defense Laws in Montana

Montana is a Castle Doctrine state and there is no stand your ground law, so an individual has a duty to retreat outside of his or her dwelling place. A person who is lawfully in a place or location and threatened with bodily injury or loss of life has no duty to retreat from a threat or to summon law enforcement assistance prior to using force.

Use of Force in Defense of Person

A person is justified to use force or threat of force against another person when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that it is necessary for self-defense or the defense of another against the other person’s imminent use of unlawful force.

However, the person is only justified in the use of deadly force if the person believes that the force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm to the person or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. A forcible felony is any crime that involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against another individual.

Use of Force In Defense of Occupied Structure

A person is justified to use force or threat of force against another person 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.

A person is justified in using deadly force only if:

  • 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
  • The person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure.

Use of Force In Defense of Other Property

A person is justified to use force or threat of force against another person to prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with either real property, other than an occupied structure, or personal property lawfully in the person’s possession or in the possession of another who is a member of the person’s immediate family or household or of a person whose property the person has a legal duty to protect.

However, the person is only justified to use force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm if the person believes that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Protecting Yourself After Use of Force

How you stand legally after using force will depend on how local authorities view the situation. You can speak with a local lawyer to find out the details. It’s important to equip yourself with local gun law knowledge via our firearms training course. A Conceal Coalition certification will provide you with everything you need to know to be a responsible gun owner in Montana. 

Montana Gun Laws by Statute

It is vitally important for all firearms owners to remember that Montana carry laws can and do change. As a result, legislators or law enforcement agencies may alter any regulations listed below at any time. The attorney general’s website has all the latest information and should be visited regularly by licensees. 

Contact us today at (406) 201-1652 or email to discuss your concealed carry permit educational needs.

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Important Gun Laws for Montana Concealed Carry Permit Holders




What States Have Reciprocity with Montana?

Montana issues firearm permits for reciprocity purposes. Resident permits issued by the following states will be recognized in Montana, and Montana permits held by Montana residents will be recognized in these states; Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Which States’ Permits Does Montana Honor?

The state of Montanahonors the permits of 52 states. These include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, New York City, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  

States That Have Restricted Montana Reciprocity

Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. 

Does Montana recognize constitutional carry?

Can you conceal and carry in Montana without a permit? Yes, Montana is a permitless carry state.

Is open carry permitted in Montana?

Yes. Open carry is allowed without a permit to anyone over the age of 18 years old who is legally entitled to possess a firearm. However, some local municipalities may not allow open carry in publicly owned and occupied buildings. 

If Montana requires a license to carry a concealed firearm, how are those licenses issued?

Montana is a shall-issue state which means that if an applicant passes the basic requirements made by state law, the issuing authority, sheriff, or police department is compelled to issue the permit.

What is the minimum age to get a concealed carry Montana license?

18 years old is the minimum age to get a concealed carry permit in Montana.

Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Montana with a Montana concealed carry permit (or under permit-less carry if applicable)?

No. A concealed weapon means a firearm that is wholly or partially covered by the clothing or wearing apparel of the person carrying or bearing the weapon.

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun under Montana gun laws?

Yes. It’s legal to purchase and possess stun guns and tasers without a permit in Montana.

Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Montana?

Yes. The purchase or use of pepper spray in Montana is allowed.

Does Montana have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No. There is no limit to magazine capacity for handguns in Montana. 

Does Montana have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. Armor-piercing ammunition mandates a sentence enhancement in Montana.




Where can't a carry a firearm in Montana?

Generally firearms are permitted in public locations in Montana, with the following exceptions:

  • Correctional facilities
  • Law enforcement facilities
  • Secure areas of airports
  • Federal buildings
  • Military reservations
  • Private properties where owners prohibit firearms
  • Courtrooms
  • Schools under specific conditions (Although note that the Montana University System, as a public entity, cannot restrict firearm possession on campuses per HB102)

Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Montana?

Yes. No permit is needed to carry a firearm in a vehicle in Montana.

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Montana?

Yes. It is allowed to carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in Montana.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forest and Wildlife Management Areas in Montana?

Yes, concealed carry is permitted the anyone over the age of 18 years old that can legally own a firearm outside the official boundaries of towns or cities. It is allowed in the confines of logging, lumbering, mining, or railroad camps and while engaged in; fishing, hunting, hiking, backpacking, farming, ranching, or other outdoor activity in which weapons are often carried for recreation or protection.

Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Montana?

Yes, as long as you are not under the influence. On February 18th 2021, the HB-102 was signed making it legal to concealed carry in places where alcohol is served, per Montana concealed carry law.

Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Montana?

Not if the hotel owner prohibits it. Hotels have their own policies and procedures so you should contact the hotel to find out. 

Does Montana have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

Employers may have their own policies on this but are not addressed in Montana state law.




Do you have a duty to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in Montana?

No, not in the state of Montana, but out-of-state permit holders must carry their permit and ID at all times. 

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Montana? If, yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If, no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

No. In Montana, “No Weapons Allowed” signs are not enforced in any way.

Does Montana have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e., Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes, Montana state has preemption of firearms laws. However, a town or city may:

  • Have regulations and restrict or prohibit the discharge of firearms within its boundaries under certain circumstances
  • Regulate the discharging of firearms such as rifles, shotguns, and handguns
  • Prevent people carrying unconcealed weapons and unpermitted concealed weapons in publicly owned and occupied buildings

Does Montana have a red flag law?

No, Montana does not have a red flag law. 

Does Montana state law define brandishing?

There is no definition of brandishing in Montana law. However, if a person creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition that serves no purpose, they are found guilty of disorderly conduct. 

Also if a person commits an assault with a weapon purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury to another with a weapon or apprehension of serious bodily injury in another person by use of a weapon or what reasonably appears to be a weapon.

Does Montana have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or chemical substances?

Carrying a concealed firearm is not allowed while under the influence of any intoxicating substances.

Does Montana issue concealed carry licenses to non-residents?

No. Concealed carry permits for non-residents are not issued in Montana state.

Does Montana allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No. Members of the public are not allowed to access concealed carry registry information through public records law Montana.




Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Montana?

Montana does not require a person to have a permit to purchase a handgun. 

Are background checks required for private gun sales in Montana?

No, private firearms transfers are not subject to background checks. However, federal and state purchaser restrictions still apply. 

Does my current Montana concealed carry license exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase firearm? 


Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Montana?


Do handguns need to be registered in Montana?

No, handguns do not need to be registered.

What is the minimum age to possess and transport a handgun in Montana?

14 years old. A person under 14 years old may carry and use a firearm only when accompanied by a person having charge of custody of the child or under the supervision of a qualified firearms safety instructor. 

Can I possess/carry a handgun in my home in Montana without a license? 

​It is legal for anyone legally entitled to carry a firearm, to carry a concealed firearm at one’s own private property, land, at one’s home, or one’s place of business without a permit.


Concealed Carry Requirements to Register for a License in Montana


  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have been a Montana resident for 6 months
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a firearm
  • Have a valid form of photo ID issued by the state, such as a driver’s license
  • Must meet federal law requirements


Initial Permit ~ $50

Renewals  $25

Valid For:

4 years

Processing Time:

60 days.


Check online for your county sheriff’s office. Some have them available for download.

Non-Resident Concealed Carry License:

Montana doesn’t issue permits to non-residents.

Name & Address Changes:

A permittee who wants to change their county of residence must inform the sheriffs of both old and new counties within 10 days of the change. If the new town or city has a local police force, the chief of police must also be informed. Get in touch with the county sheriff’s office for more information.

Lost or Stolen Licenses:

Each county has its own rules and guidelines but the state of Montana treats lost permits as renewals. Get in touch with the county sheriff’s office for more information.

Residency Changes:

Montana only issues permits to residents. Apply for your permit with the county sheriff after you have been a Montana resident for 6 months. For anyone with a Montana pistol permit who establishes residency in another state, the pistol permit will expire.


Step One:

Complete a firearms training course with Concealed Coalition.

Step Two:

Download the online application from your home county or pick up from your local sheriff’s office.

Step Three:

Take your application to your local sheriff’s office. You will need the following:

  • Three completed and signed reference forms
  • Photo ID
  • Certificate from firearms course

You will be fingerprinted.

Step Four:

You will be notified when your application is approved.


Step One:

Renewals are the responsibility of the permittee. An application to renew a Concealed Weapon Permit can be made up to 90 days prior to the permit expiration date or up to 30 days following the permit’s expiration date. Applicants with expired permits must reapply and will be charged the new application fee, plus an additional $5.00 fingerprinting fee. (Please note that the fingerprinting fee is not charged for non-expired permit renewals, per HB659).

Step Two:

Download the application, if available for your county, or pick up from your local sheriff’s office.

Step Three:

Take your application to your local sheriff’s office. You will need the following:

Contact information for three references who are not relatives or employers; and
Photo ID.

Step Four:

You will be notified if your application is approved.

Get Certified for a Montana Concealed Carry Permit Today

The certified instructors at Concealed Coalition will teach you the applicable laws for Montana state and how to carry and fire a firearm safely. Proper firearms training is essential for any individual with the right to carry a gun, especially those who do not receive training as part of their employment. Training is available across the U.S. and online, so contact us with any questions or to sign up. 

Did we miss something?

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved promptly. Your feedback matters to us, and we greatly appreciate you helping us make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners! The information contained on this website is provided by Concealed Coalition as a service to its members and the public. The information on this page does not constitute legal advice. Our goal is to provide thorough, up-to-date information regarding concealed carry laws, reciprocity, and requirements. We make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. At the time of publishing the information contained in this page was correct and up-to-date. However, laws are constantly changing, and as a result, nothing contained on this website should be considered legal advice. Please consult a lawyer should you require legal advice regarding concealed carry and gun laws in your state. Did you know our membership includes a pre-paid legal protection plan? Sign up today and gain access to 24/7 coverage from a team of legal experts.

*Legal protection plans available in select states.

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