Quick Overview of Montana Gun Laws

Taken from Wikipedia as of 11/02/2022

Jon L.

Last Update 6 days ago

Federal Requirements

The following requirements are set by Federal Statute. They serve as a minimum requirement that all states must meet or exceed.


  • Long Gun (Rifle or Shotgun): You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase.
  • Hand Guns: You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase. Can only be purchased within the State in which you are a resident. Cannot be purchased out of state.
  • Ages for Ammunition are the same as the firearms. If the ammunition is a Hand Gun round you must be at least 21 years of age to purchase

Background Check / NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System)

All firearm transferees (buyer) must complete a background check before being allowed to take possession of the firearm. In most cases this is done as an "Instant Background Check" with NICS. However some states have Conceal Carry Permits that allow the bypass of the NICS check due to the nature of the background conducted before issuing the Conceal Carry. (Currently Montana Conceal Carry permits DO allow us to bypass the NICS requirement)

Gun laws in Montana

Subject/law Long guns Hand guns Relevant statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No MCA § 45-8-316MCA § 45-8-321 Montana is a "shall issue" state for citizens and lawful permanent residents who are 18 years or older. Permitless carry took effect on February 18, 2021.
Permit required for open carry? No No MCA § 45-8-311 May carry openly without permit.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes MCA § 45-3
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes MCA § 45-8-351 Localities may regulate firearm discharge and the open or unpermitted concealed carry of weapons to a publicly owned and occupied building.
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No Missoula enacted a universal background check ordinance in 2016, however Attorney General Tim Fox opined that the ordinance is unlawful.[72] In October 2018, a state judge ruled that the ordinance was lawful[73] but the ordinance was struck down unanimously by the Montana Supreme Court on October 22, 2019.[74]

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