Whether you are a Montana native or a tourist, a hunter or a historical firearms enthusiast, it is essential to understand how to purchase and carry firearms safely and legally. Montana’s firearms laws are fairly open, but there are some jurisdictional circumstances where federal or even county laws could be more relevant than state laws. For example, although it is legal in many parts of Montana to carry an unconcealed firearm, there are certain areas and places in the state that prohibit such behavior.

The Montana Department of Justice provides detailed information on the state’s firearm laws on its website. For example, the DOJ states that Montana does not have any laws that govern the sale of firearms between private parties. However, there are federal laws related to this practice that apply anywhere in the country, including Montana. Additionally, Montana allows owners of residential and/or commercial land to prohibit weapons and firearms on their properties.

According to the Montana DOJ, you must have a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm in any manner where it is partially or completely hidden, including carrying it in a backpack or purse. However, you may carry a concealed firearm without having a CWP while you are lawfully camping, hiking, hunting or farming. Additionally, if you are outside the official boundaries of a logging operation, mining camp, city or town, you may not need a CWP to legally carry a concealed firearm.  Even with a CWP, it is not legal to carry a firearm inside a government building, on a train, in a bank or on school property. University campuses may have their own rules about carrying firearms in a concealed or unconcealed manner. It is always illegal to carry a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicating substance.