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Legal Information: Montana

State Gun Laws

December 20, 2023

I do not have an order of protection against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of any crimes. Can s/he have a gun?

Montana state laws do not have many restrictions on possessing a firearm other than those related to crimes and protection orders. However, there are additional restrictions when it comes to getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon that do not involve a conviction or a protection order. The applicant must:

  • be 18 or older;
  • be a United States citizen or permanent lawful resident;
  • have a valid Montana driver’s license or other form of photo identification issued by the state;
  • be a resident of the state for at least six months; 
  • not be ineligible under Montana law to own, possess, or receive a firearm;
  • not be ineligible under federal law to own, possess, or receive a firearm, which means the applicant cannot: 
    • be a fugitive from justice, meaning s/he fled any state to avoid being prosecuted or to avoid testifying in any criminal proceeding;
    • be an unlawful user of or addicted to drugs (controlled substances) - but this does not include alcohol or tobacco;
    • have been declared by a judge to be mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution against his/her will;
    • have been found not guilty by reason of insanity or have undergone some other court proceeding about his/her mental illness;
    • be an immigrant who is illegally or unlawfully present in the U.S.; or
    • have given up (renounced) her/his citizenship to the U.S.;1
  • not have been charged and awaiting judgment in any state of crime that is punishable by incarceration for one year or more;
  • not have a warrant out for his/her arrest;
  • not have been adjudicated in a criminal or civil proceeding in any state or federal court to be an unlawful user of an intoxicating substance and not be under a court order of imprisonment or other incarceration, probation, suspended or deferred imposition of sentence, treatment or education, or other conditions of release or be otherwise under state supervision;
  • 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 still be subject to a disposition order of that court; and
  • not have been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed forces.2

In addition, the sheriff can deny an applicant a permit to carry a concealed weapon if the sheriff has reasonable cause to believe that the applicant is mentally ill, mentally disordered, or mentally disabled or otherwise may be a threat to the peace and good order of the community to the extent that the applicant should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.3 

For additional information on gun laws in Montana, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.

Mont. Code § 45-8-321(1); 18 USC § 922(g)(2)-(g)(7)
Mont. Code § 45-8-321(1), (1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(e)-(1)(h)
Mont. Code § 45-8-321(2)

I've read through all of this information and I am still confused. What can I do?

Trying to understand both federal and state law can be confusing, but there are people out there who can help you better understand the law and your rights under the law.

  • You can contact the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith & Credit to get more information about the federal firearm law and how it applies to you: 1-800-903-0111 x 2.
  • You can contact a local domestic violence organization in your area - see our MT Advocates and Shelters page.
  • You can write to our Email Hotline.