Montana Gun Laws are based on the State Constitutional Provision of Montana that reads, “The right of any person to keep or 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.”
Montana Gun Laws are among the most permissive in the US as they do not carry much restriction. The state is somehow considered as unique because it does not have a state preemption statute that defines its prohibitions. However, local governments are allowed by the state preemption statute to impose rules that deny felons or mentally incompetent individuals the right to possess or own a gun.
In general, Montana Gun Laws do not require rifle, shotgun and handgun owners to acquire a permit to purchase, undergo registration and secure a license for simply owning a firearm. But similar to the most areas in the US, the gun laws of Montana requires a permit to carry for the possession of a concealed handgun in public or places that are not prohibited. More of these shall be discussed in the next section of the article.
Key Rules and Regulations Provided by Montana Gun Laws
Here are the standards and prohibitions stated under Montana Gun Laws that every seller, purchaser, owner or user of gun must comply with:
1. Carrying any form of firearm in school premises or vehicles owned by the educational institution is illegal under Montana Gun Laws except for people who are exempted from this prohibition such as law enforcement officers who are in their line of duty.
2. Aside from government personnel authorized by the law to carry a concealed gun in line of duty and persons who are within their properties, people who are engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, mining, logging, farming or any outdoor activity that usually involves a weapon for recreation or self defense are also permitted to carry guns in concealment.
3. A minor under 14 years of age is only allowed to use or possess a firearm in public if he is accompanied by his legal guardian, parent or a certified firearms safety instructor authorized by his parent or legal guardian.
4. Open carry is allowed for people who do not possess the disqualifying factors set forth by Montana Gun Laws. This is considered to be a form of communication to another person that the other is armed. However, having a concealed handgun without a permit to carry is not allowed.
5. A person with a permit to carry should also possess a valid state ID at all times.
6. The possession of a machine gun of a person determined as a public threat is punishable of not less than 20 years of imprisonment. Likewise, the possession of such gun in an offensive or aggressive manner is not allowed. It is presumed that a person is carrying a machine gun in an aggressive or offensive way if he has been convicted of a crime involving violence. This prohibition exempts certified collectors, authorized persons who use the particular gun for scientific purposes and individuals who carry it in non-offensive or non-aggressive reasons.
Permit to Carry Requirements Under Montana Gun Laws
For a person who wishes to apply for a concealed carry permit valid for four years, he should have the following requirements or conditions:
1. Must be at least 18 years old.
2. Should be a resident of Montana for 6 months or more.
3. The applicant should not possess any or the disqualifying factors related to the ownership or possession of handgun such as serious physical impairment, psychological incompetence, conviction of a federal crime that carries imprisonment of one year or more, currently awaiting judgement for a crime he has been charged with, reliance to an intoxicating substance, dishonarable discharge from the US Armed Forces, or having an outstanding court order that bars him from the right to bear a gun. A person can only be freed from the disqualification if he has already been pardoned, served his sentence or declared by the court as eligible to possess a gun.
4. The person should be able to complete the forms, supply the additional documentary requirements and pay the fees demanded by the issuing authority of his place of residence or business.
Validity of Permits Issued Under Montana Gun Laws in Other Jurisdictions
The following states honor a permit issued under Montana Gun Laws:
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
On the other hand, these Montana Gun Laws recognize permits issued from these states:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia