Montana is a traditional open carry state. Localities are substantially preempted, but have limited power to prevent and suppress the carrying of concealed or unconcealed weapons to a public assembly, publicly owned building, park under its jurisdiction, or school, and the possession of firearms by convicted felons, adjudicated mental incompetents, illegal aliens, and minors.
Article II, Section 12
The right of any person to keep and bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.
You must be 14 years of age to carry a loaded handgun in public. MCA 45-8-344
Montana has state preemption of firearm laws with some exceptions.
See MCA 45-8-351 for exceptions.
NOTE: Almost all states allow local regulation of the discharge of firearms
You may open carry in a vehicle.
18 years and older may purchase from private sellers.
Buildings: No – A person commits the offense of possession of a weapon in a school building if the person purposely and knowingly possesses, carries, or stores a weapon in a school building.MCA 45-8-361
Grounds: Dependent on local municipal laws MCA 45-8-351 (2)(a)
Federal Gun-Free School Zone Exemption: MCA 45-8-360 – Does not apply to individuals lawfully able to own or to possess a firearm under Montana constitution
Carry Not Statutorily Prohibited
NOTE: Even if Legal, Students May be Subject to Academic Sanctions
There are no locations statutorily prohibited by state law for open carry.
Local regulations (MCA 45-8-351) apply for:
- Public Assemblies
- Publicly Owned Buildings
Additional restrictions apply only to concealed carry. MCA 45-8-328
- Buildings used for state or local government offices and related areas in builds that have been restricted
- Bank, Credit union or other savings and loan institutions
- A room in which alcoholic beverages are sold, dispensed, and consumed under a license issued under Title 16
You may complete an application form at a local sheriff office.
Montana is a “Shall Issue” state for CWPs. Meaning as long as you are not a disqualified person you will be issued a license within 60 days by law.
Initial permits cost $50 and last 4 years, Renewals cost $25 and last 4 years. Background check and fingerprints are required for the permit and the applicant must be a resident of the state for 6 months prior to applying. The Minimum age to apply for a CWP is 18 years old.
We make every effort to provide correct information on this site. However, the legal landscape surrounding open carry is fluid and subject to a myriad of political influences in the various states. Therefore, any and all information you glean from this site should be independently verified!