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Legal Information: Montana

State Gun Laws

Laws current as of December 20, 2023

If the abuser has been convicted of a crime, can s/he keep or buy a gun?

In Montana, a person cannot have a firearm if s/he has been convicted of:

In addition, if someone is convicted of partner or family member assault, the judge could prohibit the defendant from having or using the specific firearm used in the assault.2

There are additional restrictions when it comes to getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The applicant must not be “ineligible under federal law to own, possess, or receive a firearm,” which means the applicant cannot:

  • be convicted of a felony, or a domestic violence misdemeanor
  • have been charged and awaiting judgment in any state of crime that is punishable by incarceration for one year or more;
  • have been convicted in any state or federal court of:
    • a crime punishable by more than one 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 regardless of the sentence that may be imposed;
  • have been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence or carrying a concealed weapon in a prohibited place, unless five years have passed since the date of the conviction; and
  • have a warrant out for his/her arrest.3

1 Mont. Code § 45-8-313(1)
2 Mont. Code § 45-5-206(7)
Mont. Code § 45-8-321(1)(a) - (1)(e)

How can I find out if the abuser has been convicted of a crime?

Criminal records are open to the public, but they are not always easy to access. If you know the exact courthouse where the abuser may have been convicted, you can go to the courthouse and ask the clerk of court for access to those records.

Domestic violence misdemeanor and felony records are also kept in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). However, no one other than law enforcement officials and licensed firearm sellers are allowed to search the NICS. Your local police department may be willing to search NICS for you if you ask, but they are not required to do so.

To read more about the NICS, please see the question What will happen if the abuser tries to purchase a gun?